Definition of cub in English:



  • 1The young of a fox, bear, lion, or other carnivorous mammal.

    ‘she was as protective as a tiger with her cubs’
    ‘a fox cub’
    • ‘The young bear's cub sat near its mother nuzzling her.’
    • ‘However, if the adult lion does not pay full attention, the wild dog might eat the lion cubs behind his back without mercy.’
    • ‘Lion cubs, if left alone, can be vulnerable to other large predators.’
    • ‘Predators such as cougars, wolves, and adult male bears, even a cub's own father, are threats, especially to cubs that are separated from their mothers.’
    • ‘At the moment the Zoo has six eight-month-old lion cubs in a large enclosure, all looking very alert and handsome at 9 o'clock at night.’
    • ‘Young tiger and lion cubs are passed amongst large groups of people so they can have a ‘cute’ photo taken with a fluffy animal.’
    • ‘Over the summer, which is December to February in the southern hemisphere, the fox cubs become independent and establish their own territories.’
    • ‘Over the years, some 400 pets have called the White House home, ranging from bear cubs, snakes, and a hyena, to cats and cows.’
    • ‘Since cheetahs have small jaws and a light build, a mother cannot defend her cubs or kills against lions and hyenas.’
    • ‘How does a female tiger protect her young cubs amid the sometimes violent attentions of three male suitors?’
    • ‘The camera passed with flying colors, enduring feeding frenzies and the nibbles of lion cubs.’
    • ‘Another of the most popular attractions at the park is a petting zoo which lets the public get close to a pair of lion cubs and a four-week-old giraffe calf.’
    • ‘The Daily Dispatch switchboard was almost jammed yesterday as readers called to suggest their names for three lion cubs at the East London Zoo.’
    • ‘Beginning in 1996, a dozen bear cubs orphaned by hunters were released in the reserve.’
    • ‘In a project begun a little over a year ago, he sterilizes pride males that have sired around 20 cubs.’
    • ‘When very young, the cubs cry when afraid and hum when contented.’
    • ‘Move ahead and one can see lion and tiger cubs playing together.’
    • ‘When a male lion kills cubs, it does it for a valid a reason - the survival of the pride.’
    • ‘A 500-millimeter lens enabled him to photograph a mother polar bear and her two cubs from a reasonably safe distance.’
    • ‘The cameras also follow the antics of spectacled bear cubs the only bears to inhabit South America.’
    1. 1.1archaic A young man, especially one who is awkward or bad-mannered.
      ‘his sons are as yet mere cubs’
      • ‘Five cubs - most of the small village's complement of kids - were standing half-hidden beside the tent, staring at me.’
      • ‘It was nice spending time with Bill, Shannon, and their four cubs.’
      • ‘There were three of us at infant school, cubs who were always playing together - Mark, Chris and me.’
      • ‘The young cubs have started a project called CalTV.’
      • ‘It is veteran versus tyro, wily old fox against bristling young cub, a man who has done it all against a boy who threatens to do it all.’
  • 2A junior branch of the Scout Association, for boys aged about 8 to 11.

    ‘she tells an anecdote about his wanting to join the Cubs’
    • ‘Congratulations to Dunhill Cubs who won the County Variety Talent Show recently.’
    • ‘The Cubs of Keighley gave readings on how Scouting began, with Father Sean Gilligan leading prayer.’
    • ‘Along with John Cumberland, at the time group scout leader, we decided that sharing a building did not allow us to conduct Scout and Cub activities as we would like.’
    • ‘Kirsty Wark popped in from her house across the road while her weans were out at the Brownies and the Cubs.’
    • ‘There will be a shop open on the night and all proceeds will go to Ferrybank Beavers, Cubs and scouts unit.’
    • ‘Scouts and Cubs have been on hand to help shoppers at Greenbridge.’
    • ‘The teenager had progressed through the Cubs and Scouts to become a Venture Scout.’
    • ‘From 7pm Brownies, Cubs, Scouts and Guides from the York area will take to the stage for the gang show.’
    • ‘Last year's winner, 17-year-old Sarah Carter, from Stalybridge, was chosen for her dedicated work leading Brownie, Cub and Guide groups.’
    • ‘Find local activities where your child will have opportunities to make friends outside of school, such as Cubs, a drama group or swimming lessons.’
    • ‘A Cub pack has been presented with a certificate of thanks after raising money for cat protection.’
    • ‘Mike Jones, who has taken over as Tuesday Cub pack leader, is desperate for an assistant.’
    • ‘Over the years Cubs in Portlaoise went on some very exciting trips.’
    1. 2.1 A member of the Cubs.
      ‘I was a Cub and already impatient to move up to the Scouts’
      • ‘Plans are being finalised for the various Summer Camps for our Cubs and Scouts.’
      • ‘A Cub Scout is stepping out in tribute to a younger member of his group.’
      • ‘Literal stargazing is even rarer for radio astronomers, who are often hard put to identify even the most common constellations; a radio astronomer asked to test a Cub Scout for his Stargazer badge is a worried astronomer indeed!’
      • ‘People would hang flags from their porches, the high school band would march, and the Cub Scout troop would trudge along, right behind the block of World War II veterans, who seemed ancient.’
      • ‘I am stunned by the reaction because when I was a Cub Scout between the ages of 8 and 10, we were told to hold hands with our buddies when walking in amusement parks and queuing for mass transport.’
      • ‘The two men, who grew up together in Columbus, Ohio, and were once part of the same Cub Scout troop, are both seasoned entrepreneurs - and committed environmentalists.’
      • ‘Each Cub Scout was charged an entrance fee of €2.’
      • ‘The Scout group has ten Cubs and 16 Beavers, both boys and girls, and there is a waiting list for new members.’
      • ‘The two had been the best of friends since they were Cubs, and Randon was the leader of the two.’
      • ‘Two pupils from the academy died during a Cub Scout trip to Yorkshire.’
      • ‘We were all to eat at Glare's house, but her mother had held a Cub Scout meeting at her house that evening and didn't feel like cooking.’
      • ‘Hands on bended knees, still implementing the breathing methods that he only half-remembered from his Cub Scout den leader, he plopped down on top of the cooler.’
      • ‘Adam worked hard for his Cub Scout religious medal; it, too, is kept in his file, along with more mature letters Adam exchanged with our pastor when Adam was in his teens.’
      • ‘What I didn't tell her was that I never wanted to be a Cub Scout.’
      • ‘She was a Cub Scout leader for more than 20 years and served as district commissioner, and is very active in the Appleby community.’
      • ‘Before making the return journey home, the Cub Scout groups were treated to a goodie bag provided by the organisers of the concert.’
      • ‘The Cub Scout who captured the nation's attention after he was lost in the Utah mountains is up and around already and reports that he's good.’
      • ‘He recalls demonstrating his loyalty to the United States by putting on his Cub Scout uniform and saluting the armed soldiers.’
      • ‘Summer Camps will be organised for Scouts, Cubs and Venturers during the month of July.’
      • ‘This special event is open to all Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers in our Group.’
      novice, starter, learner, student, pupil, trainee, apprentice, probationer
      View synonyms


[no object]
  • 1Give birth to cubs.

    ‘both share the same earth during the first ten days after cubbing’
    • ‘After observing the autumn cubbing and seeing the unrequited cruelty of the killing of innocents and following the trail of devastation, the sooner they are dealt with the better.’
    • ‘There were no paw prints and no fresh scat, nothing at all to indicate that a cougar had cubbed in these hills that summer.’
  • 2Hunt fox cubs.

    ‘members of the Grafton Hunt were out cubbing’
    • ‘Of course the Hunts have been out cubbing - sorry, training the hounds - for some time, but the opening meets seem to have passed off well, as far as I have heard.’
    • ‘At a country-house dinner in Wiltshire, my hunting friends tell me the cubbing is fantastic this year.’


Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.