Definition of phubbing in English:



mass nouninformal
  • The practice of ignoring one's companion or companions in order to pay attention to one's phone or other mobile device.

    ‘phubbing is just one symptom of our increasing reliance on mobile phones and the Internet’
    • ‘I'm not guilty of phubbing, but it's a very important topic to discuss.’
    • ‘According to survey results, 46.3 percent of respondents said they'd experienced phubbing at the hands of their significant other.’
    • ‘While phubbing most definitely has social consequences, it also has a significant environmental impact as smartphones consume far more energy than most of us think.’
    • ‘You don't have to stage an intervention, but the next time you catch them phubbing you, say gently but firmly: I'd really prefer if we could put our phones away when we're spending time together.’
    • ‘Phubbing is rife throughout the world.’
    • ‘The top bad tech habit in the UK was found to be phubbing.’
    • ‘When someone else is ignoring you to be on their phone, the temptation is to take out your own phone; this won't solve the problem, and may even end with them accusing you of phubbing.’
    • ‘I have a patient who resorts to phubbing to hurt his wife.’
    • ‘Even if any of these initiatives help to reduce phubbing, there's a serious challenge on the way—smartwatches.’
    • ‘It doesn't address the thorny issue of politely informing him that phubbing is obnoxious.’


2012: blend of phone and snubbing (from snub); coined by an Australian advertising agency as part of a marketing campaign with the Macquarie Dictionary.