Origin of knub

in modern use probably spelling variant, influenced by knob; cf. nub


or knub

  1. the point, gist, or heart of something.
  2. a knob or protuberance.
  3. a lump or small piece: a nub of coal; a nub of pencil.
  4. a small mass of fibers produced on a card, dyed brilliant colors, and introduced into yarn during the spinning process.

Origin of nub

1585–95; < Low German, Middle Low German knubbe; cf. knob Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for knub


  1. a small lump or protuberance
  2. a small piece or chunk
  3. the point or gistthe nub of a story
  4. a small fibrous knot in yarn
Derived Formsnubbly, adjective

Word Origin for nub

C16: variant of knub, from Middle Low German knubbe knob
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for knub

"small lump," 1560s, probably cognate with Low German knubbe "knot, knob," Danish knub "block, log, stump" (cf. knob).



"knob, lump, bump," 1590s, variant of dialectal knub, probably a variant of knob. Figurative meaning "point, gist" first recorded 1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper