a small lump or stunted piece; stub.
a small or imperfect ear of corn.
an undeveloped fruit.

Origin of nubbin

1685–95, Americanism; perhaps nub + -in, variant of -ing1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nubbin

Historical Examples of nubbin

  • He warmed the remaining half-can of salmon and whittled at his nubbin of bread.

    The Promise

    James B. Hendryx

  • Throwing a nubbin to the calf to catch the cow, as you say in Virginia, eh?

    Shadows of Flames

    Amelie Rives

  • Not a stream, not a butte, not even a nubbin of rock varied the view.

    The Plow-Woman

    Eleanor Gates

  • One must rescue Richard's head; it was not that nubbin of a head which goes with the Farnese one.

    The President

    Alfred Henry Lewis

  • The Condor stretched his broad wings and settled himself comfortably on a nubbin of sandstone.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

British Dictionary definitions for nubbin



mainly US and Canadian something small or undeveloped, esp a fruit or ear of corn

Word Origin for nubbin

C19: diminutive of nub
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 nubbin

"stunted ear of corn," 1690s, American English diminutive of nub. General sense of "small piece" is from 1857.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper