[ skwob ]
/ skwɒb /

noun, plural squabs, (especially collectively for 1) squab.

a nestling pigeon, marketed when fully grown but still unfledged.
a short, stout person.
a thickly stuffed, soft cushion.


short and thick or broad.
(of a bird) unfledged or newly hatched.

Nearby words

  1. sqd.,
  2. sql,
  3. sqn,
  4. sqn ldr,
  5. sqq.,
  6. squabble,
  7. squabby,
  8. squacco,
  9. squad,
  10. squad car

Origin of squab

1630–40; probably < Scandinavian; compare Swedish dialect skvabb loose, fat flesh, skvabba fat woman, Norwegian skvabb soft wet mass

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squab

British Dictionary definitions for squab


/ (skwɒb) /

noun plural squabs or squab

a young unfledged bird, esp a pigeon
a short fat person
  1. a well-stuffed bolster or cushion
  2. a sofa


(of birds) recently hatched and still unfledged
short and fat
Derived Formssquabby, adjective

Word Origin for squab

C17: probably of Germanic origin; compare Swedish dialect sqvabb flabby skin, sqvabba fat woman, German Quabbe soft mass, Norwegian kvabb mud

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 squab



1680s, "very young bird," earlier (1630s) "unformed, lumpish person" and used at various times for any sort of flabby mass from sea slugs to sofa cushions; probably from a Scandinavian word (cf. dialectal Swedish skvabb "loose or fat flesh," skvabba "fat woman"), from Proto-Germanic *(s)kwab- (cf. Old Prussian gawabo "toad," Old Church Slavonic zaba "frog").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper