Definition of squab in English:



  • 1A young unfledged pigeon.

    • ‘They taught me to raise pigeon squabs in the barns and farm and I hunted rabbit.’
    • ‘When they discovered that all the local homing pigeons were booked up, they bought 80 squabs from a poultry market in Newark, N.J.’
    • ‘Young squabs stretched their legs and body and flapped their wings vigorously.’
    • ‘Did you know, baby doves are actually called squabs, which is a horrible word.’
    1. 1.1mass noun The flesh of young pigeon as food.
      ‘roast squab’
      • ‘Spoon some of the diced squab and pigeon breast meat into six soup bowls.’
      • ‘Remove from the heat and transfer the squab to the prepared roasting rack.’
      • ‘Award-winning chef Eyck Zimmer serves up modern European cuisine, with delicious dishes such as roast squab or crayfish risotto.’
      • ‘Pixie's squab with roast vegetables and rosti was outstanding: pigeon is difficult to cook right, but her squab was done to perfection.’
      • ‘It offers dozens of tapas-style selections, from clams stuffed with fresh garlic and a mackerel tart with Parmesan and olives to squab stuffed with foîe gras and cabbage.’
  • 2British The padded back or side of a vehicle seat.

    • ‘Electric seat adjusters are usually on the side of the seat squab.’
    • ‘That centre front seat slides all the way back until it hits the rear-seat squab, so a child can still sit ‘in the front’, but remains sufficiently rearward not to be hit by an airbag designed to restrain an adult.’
    • ‘And thanks to longer squabs the seats were more comfortable; a relief to those who may have driven the Terrano perhaps!’
    1. 2.1 A thick stuffed cushion, especially one covering the seat of a chair or sofa.
      cushion, pillow, bolster
      View synonyms


  • (of a person) short and fat.

    ‘a squab, square-featured personage’
    • ‘His eyes were large, his figure short and squab.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘inexperienced person’): of unknown origin; compare with obsolete quab ‘shapeless thing’ and Swedish dialect skvabba ‘fat woman’.