[noo-bil, -bahyl, nyoo-]


(of a young woman) suitable for marriage, especially in regard to age or physical development; marriageable.
(of a young person, usually a woman) sexually developed and attractive: the nubile girls in their bikinis.

Origin of nubile

1635–45; < Latin nūbilis, equivalent to nūb(ere) to marry (see nuptial) + -ilis -ile
Related formsnu·bil·i·ty [noo-bil-i-tee, nyoo-] /nuˈbɪl ɪ ti, nyu-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nubile

Historical Examples of nubile

  • I got a picture of a nubile waif, too freakish to fit where she'd been raised.


    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • All women of that category are Nupa, or nubile, as far as this man goes.

  • Every nubile maid (koshimoto) in the yashiki was a candidate for concubinage.

  • Such was the ideal of wifely purity in an isle where nubile virgins went naked as in paradise.

    In the South Seas

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • But shall we find in France a country where the proportion of births to the number of nubile women is greater than in our own?

    The Education of American Girls

    Anna Callender Brackett

British Dictionary definitions for nubile


adjective (of a girl or woman)

ready or suitable for marriage by virtue of age or maturity
sexually attractive
Derived Formsnubility (njuːˈbɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for nubile

C17: from Latin nūbilis, from nūbere to marry
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 nubile

1640s, "marriageable" (said of a woman), from French nubile (16c.) or directly from Latin nubilis "marriageable," from stem of nubere "take as husband" (see nuptial). In sense of "young and sexually attractive" from 1973. Related: Nubility.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper