See more synonyms for stub on
  1. a short projecting part.
  2. a short remaining piece, as of a pencil, candle, or cigar.
  3. (in a checkbook, receipt book, etc.) the inner end of each leaf, for keeping a record of the content of the part filled out and torn away.
  4. the returned portion of a ticket.
  5. the end of a fallen tree, shrub, or plant left fixed in the ground; stump.
  6. something having a short, blunt shape, especially a short-pointed, blunt pen.
  7. stub nail.
  8. something having the look of incomplete or stunted growth, as a horn of an animal.
  9. Bridge. a part-score.
verb (used with object), stubbed, stub·bing.
  1. to strike accidentally against a projecting object: I stubbed my toe against the step.
  2. to extinguish the burning end of (a cigarette or cigar) by crushing it against a solid object (often followed by out): He stubbed out the cigarette in the ashtray.
  3. to clear of stubs, as land.
  4. to dig up by the roots; grub up (roots).

Origin of stub

before 1000; (noun) Middle English stubb(e), Old English stubb tree stump; cognate with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stubbe, Old Norse stubbi; akin to Old Norse stūfr stump; (v.) late Middle English stubben to dig up by the roots, clear stumps from (land), derivative of the noun
Related formsstub·ber, noun


  1. stocky; squat.

Origin of stub

First recorded in 1705–15; special use of stub1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for stub

stump, dock, root, tail, snag, remnant, tag, butt, remainder, counterfoil

Examples from the Web for stub

Contemporary Examples of stub

Historical Examples of stub

British Dictionary definitions for stub


  1. a short piece remaining after something has been cut, removed, etca cigar stub
  2. the residual piece or section of a receipt, ticket, cheque, etc
  3. US and Canadian the part of a cheque, postal order, receipt, etc, detached and retained as a record of the transactionAlso called (in Britain) counterfoil
  4. any short projection or blunted end
  5. the stump of a tree or plant
verb stubs, stubbing or stubbed (tr)
  1. to strike (one's toe, foot, etc) painfully against a hard surface
  2. (usually foll by out) to extinguish (a cigarette or cigar) by pressing the end against a surface
  3. to clear (land) of stubs
  4. to dig up (the roots) of (a tree or bush)

Word Origin for stub

Old English stubb; related to Old Norse stubbi, Middle Dutch stubbe, Greek stupos stem, stump
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 stub

Old English stybb "stump of a tree," from Proto-Germanic *stubjaz (cf. Middle Dutch stubbe, Old Norse stubbr), from PIE root *(s)teu- (see steep (adj.)). Extended in Middle English to other short, thick things. The verb sense of "strike (one's toe) against" something is first recorded 1848. Meaning "to extinguish a cigarette" is from 1927. Related: Stubbed; stubbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper