Definition of nib in US English:

nib

noun

  • 1The pointed end part of a pen, which distributes the ink on the writing surface.

    • ‘The awards had branched out into so many categories over the years, including Online, and the nib was a reminder of the Walkley's history, the pen, or, more accurately print journalism.’
    • ‘I've also used pen nibs - not the ‘Serjeant-Major,’ which is too dry, but softer nibs, like the ‘J.’’
    • ‘A packet of nibs at 1/3 and a bottle of ink at 6d are also listed.’
    • ‘Having discovered through the internet that members of her family invented the pen nib and founded Birmingham University, Leggatt can easily appreciate the lure of the unknown.’
    • ‘Was given a pen, by a pen shop - Elephant and Coral - who feel that authors should get nice pens (this was a Pilot pen with the nib carved out of the barrel, and looks like it will be a lovely thing to write with).’
    • ‘His nib catches the paper's grain and a small blot spreads.’
    • ‘They'd made a museum about pencils which was really boring (and incidentally also included some pen nibs to try and fill things out a bit which I think is cheating).’
    • ‘It may have inspired the design of the post-quillian nib.’
    • ‘At this, Ian pressed his pen so hard into the surface of the paper that he broke his nib.’
    • ‘She uses fine cloth, velvet or canvas as the base for paintings done using specialised thin and wide nibs.’
    • ‘An angled nib means the writer can always see the writing - a particular boon for left-handers - and the hand stays in a better position, the inventor claims.’
    • ‘Future projects include continuing a series of line drawings using pens with increasingly finer and finer nibs.’
    • ‘A technological marvel, each pen has a little pumping heart that delivers just the correct amount of ink to the tip of the nib - brilliant.’
    • ‘Winston fitted a nib into the penholder and sucked it to get the grease off.’
    • ‘I could never draw with a steel quill worth a damn, so I kept a pot of ink and a couple of nibs above my mouse.’
    • ‘We have ink nibs that attach to little wooden handles and I love dipping them into the ink and writing on our ivory-colored stationery.’
    • ‘Masterton is an inspirational character who joined BoS aged 15 straight from school, spent his first day changing nibs on fountain pens, and rose through the ranks to end up with his signature on the banknotes.’
    • ‘Writing was done with nibs fitted into a pen holder.’
    • ‘I like pens that you have to twist to get the nib out.’
    • ‘I was forever dismantling the nibs and washing them in the sink and finding ink blots on my shirts.’
    tip, sharp end, tapered end, end, extremity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A pointed or projecting part of an object.
      • ‘That's not a problem - all of Lomi Design's wardrobes are made to order and can be customised to suit your space, whether it involves protruding chimneys, wall nibs, or sloped ceilings.’
      bill, mandible
      View synonyms
  • 2nibsShelled and crushed coffee or cocoa beans.

    • ‘Seared foie gras and diver scallops are handled yet another way: the nibs - the crunchy centers of the cocoa bean are the stars, made into nougatine.’
    • ‘When she asked what it was, I responded ‘Homemade marshmallows, roasted peanuts and cocoa nibs enrobed in dark chocolate’, a dark mood crossed her face.’
    • ‘In a small bowl, combine the cacao nibs and brown sugar.’
    • ‘Add the cocoa nibs and 5-spice powder while stirring constantly to coat.’
    • ‘This involved process includes roasting the beans, winnowing the shells, and grinding the nibs to form chocolate liquor.’
    • ‘They roast their own beans, create their own nibs, temper their own chocolate… all in a small factory near the San Francisco airport.’
    • ‘The cacao nibs and pistachios had a tendency to bob to the surface, but I am hoping that they will still infuse the jam with flavor and add textural variety.’
    • ‘In Parisian restaurants where I dined last fall, the petite sweets that accompanied coffee invariably included little rounds of white chocolate sprinkled with cocoa nibs.’
    • ‘I picked up all sorts of tips from him - decadent Parisian Hot Chocolate doesn't contain cream, only use unsweetened cocoa powder in recipes, Scharffen Burger cocoa nibs are currently unavailable so try Dagoba instead.’
    • ‘Sprinkle with some cocoa nibs, fold the dough in half and roll to 1/2-inch thick.’
    1. 2.1US Small pieces of caramel, licorice, or other sweets.
      • ‘Drinks and nibs at the Glassblower, which I'd not been to for… oh, I don't know, probably five years.’

Origin

Late 16th century (in the sense ‘beak, nose’): probably from Middle Dutch nib or Middle Low German nibbe, variant of nebbe ‘beak’ (see neb).

Pronunciation

nib

/nib//nɪb/