Definition of cub in US English:

cub

nounPlural cubs

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

    • ‘The Daily Dispatch switchboard was almost jammed yesterday as readers called to suggest their names for three lion cubs at the East London Zoo.’
    • ‘However, if the adult lion does not pay full attention, the wild dog might eat the lion cubs behind his back without mercy.’
    • ‘When a male lion kills cubs, it does it for a valid a reason - the survival of the pride.’
    • ‘The cameras also follow the antics of spectacled bear cubs the only bears to inhabit South America.’
    • ‘Young tiger and lion cubs are passed amongst large groups of people so they can have a ‘cute’ photo taken with a fluffy animal.’
    • ‘Lion cubs, if left alone, can be vulnerable to other large predators.’
    • ‘Over the years, some 400 pets have called the White House home, ranging from bear cubs, snakes, and a hyena, to cats and cows.’
    • ‘The young bear's cub sat near its mother nuzzling her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In a project begun a little over a year ago, he sterilizes pride males that have sired around 20 cubs.’
    • ‘The camera passed with flying colors, enduring feeding frenzies and the nibbles of lion cubs.’
    • ‘A 500-millimeter lens enabled him to photograph a mother polar bear and her two cubs from a reasonably safe distance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How does a female tiger protect her young cubs amid the sometimes violent attentions of three male suitors?’
    • ‘Since cheetahs have small jaws and a light build, a mother cannot defend her cubs or kills against lions and hyenas.’
    • ‘Beginning in 1996, a dozen bear cubs orphaned by hunters were released in the reserve.’
    • ‘Move ahead and one can see lion and tiger cubs playing together.’
    • ‘When very young, the cubs cry when afraid and hum when contented.’
    • ‘Over the summer, which is December to February in the southern hemisphere, the fox cubs become independent and establish their own territories.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1archaic A young man, especially one who is awkward or ill-mannered.
      • ‘The young cubs have started a project called CalTV.’
      • ‘Five cubs - most of the small village's complement of kids - were standing half-hidden beside the tent, staring at me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There were three of us at infant school, cubs who were always playing together - Mark, Chris and me.’
      • ‘It was nice spending time with Bill, Shannon, and their four cubs.’

verbcubs, cubbing, cubbed

[no object]
  • Give birth to cubs.

    ‘both share the same earth during the first ten days after cubbing’
    • ‘There were no paw prints and no fresh scat, nothing at all to indicate that a cougar had cubbed in these hills that summer.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

cub

/kəb//kəb/