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See more synonyms for nubbin on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small lump or stunted piece; stub.
  2. a small or imperfect ear of corn.
  3. an undeveloped fruit.
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Origin of nubbin

1685–95, Americanism; perhaps nub + -in, variant of -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nubbins

grain, nut, fruit, morsel, meat, crux, upshot, core, keynote, substance, center, hub, heart, root, matter, germ, pith, part, atom, marrow

Examples from the Web for nubbins

Historical Examples of nubbins

  • Every morning Nubbins gets up and tries to wake up White Nose.

    The 1926 Tatler


  • It may have been the intention of the stone masons to remove these nubbins after the wall was completed.

    Inca Land

    Hiram Bingham

  • And I'm afeard they'll be a heap of nubbins not wuth the shuckin'.

    The End Of The World

    Edward Eggleston

  • It could handle only one ear of corn at a time and it was neither shaped properly nor adjustable enough to get the nubbins.

  • One is filled with nubbins; the other with large, shapely, well-matured ears of corn.

British Dictionary definitions for nubbins


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



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper