Definition of nubby in US English:


(also nubbly)


  • 1(of fabric) coarse or knobbly in texture.

    ‘upholstered in nubby blue cotton’
    • ‘I brushed your nubbly sweater once at Galapagos but I was too shy to speak.’
    • ‘Many children have blankets, or a favorite nubby stuffed animal that they like to keep near them for security.’
    • ‘Chinchilla cloth is a heavy, spongy woolen overcoat fabric with a long nap that has been rubbed into a curly, nubby finish.’
    • ‘Lopsided she smiled as she wrapped masking tape around her hand to snatch naps from the nubby lemon sleeves.’
    • ‘I calmed down, breathing deeply and squelching my toes in the nubbly carpeting.’
    • ‘The aspiring journalists and politicos go in for the Men's Wearhouse look: The shiny wool-blend kind worn with a nubby polyester tie, belt below the gut.’
    • ‘Frieze is a nubby twisted pile, it's less formal looking but will wear well.’
    • ‘It is like a nubby silk shantung, this culture thing.’
    • ‘A smartly cut, nubby grey dress is finished off with a flirty feathery hemline, while a fabulous brown flared skirt got a lift from a spray of guinea hen feathers.’
    • ‘And last night I went to Chinatown and bought some gorgeous raspberry nubbly silk, which tonight I made into curtains for my living room.’
    • ‘Our cat never scratches the couch and only focuses on the chair, I assume because it's more satisfying to have his claws stuck in the nubbly fabric.’
    • ‘In one corner, swatches of nubby, charcoal gray carpet roll through a glue machine that coats them with liquid adhesive so they can be affixed to the finished containers.’
    • ‘Stand under steaming hot water and rub your entire body with a loofah or a nubby washcloth.’
    • ‘ACG also is offering denim blended with hemp and linen, as well as a pure cotton denim with a nubby fill that creates the look of a nubby hemp.’
    • ‘Typical Bowmore suppleness but a tannic astringency cuts into its usual velvety texture and turns it into nubbly silk.’
    • ‘Her fabrication ranges from rich tweed with nubby (yet soft to the touch) textures, silk crêpe, georgette, satin and various (heavy to light) jerseys.’
    • ‘Across his shoulders and around his neck is a protective nubbly covering, possibly derived from a seedpod found on the forest floor.’
    • ‘Features include a nubby texture in the fabric and black pearl buttons.’
    • ‘Berber is a little harder to sew than fleece, but it is also a little warmer, because it traps air in the nubby surface, thereby insulating the wearer.’
    • ‘This substance was composed of strips cut from stalks of the papyrus reed, which were dried, laid across each other crosswise, and glued together to form a somewhat nubby writing surface.’
    1. 1.1 Stubby or lumpy.
      ‘the nubby points of the new leaves’
      • ‘It is perfect and subtle stuff: smoky from the eggplant's grill-induced char, with a light, nubbly texture more interesting than a resolutely smooth purée's.’
      • ‘The spinach and arugula salad is dressed with fragrant rosemary oil and tossed with hickory nuts and a forest floor's worth of nubby, exotic mushrooms, and further bejeweled with a spoonful of very young, very fresh chèvre.’
      • ‘His head was shaved bald, with four nubby horns on the top.’
      • ‘The thing is white, in high contrast to his nubby teeth, and he maneuvers it around his mouth.’
      • ‘Rubin designed the stylish, quasi-industrial new bakery, with its double-height plate-glass windows, down to the nubby recycled-cardboard dishware.’
      • ‘In a matter of days, if not hours, the little indentation in the middle of my belly is going to erupt in a volcanic burst of nubbly flesh, and all at once I will be sporting the dreaded pregnant belly button.’
      • ‘Fruit is borne on spurs, 1-to 3-inch nubby twigs, on 2-to 6-year-old branches.’
      • ‘You've likely seen fresh ginger in the grocery store: a tan-brown and nubby root, lying in baskets in the cooler section of the produce department.’
      • ‘Her people have beady round eyes and nubby, square teeth, and tend to look startled, with O-shaped mouths gaping wide.’
      • ‘Suddenly those nubby little ends of pine branches that collect in the corners of tent floors are all over the place.’
      • ‘The space between becomes the nubbly texture of history.’
      • ‘The thread that unravels from this cocoon is tangled and nubby, thus producing the texture of the doupioni.’
      • ‘This is by no means essential, but I like to do it to give the crumble a more interesting, nubbly texture.’
      • ‘His button eyes, his nubby fur, his watch-collar - he may not be the spiffiest dog on the block, but for it was love at first sight.’
      • ‘The night before, Brandon and I had hovered together over a flour-dusted counter, turning tiny lumps of pasta dough into rough, nubby spirals.’
      • ‘The nubby, shark's-fin radio aerial on the roof is the give-away: the A6 is a kind of racing saloon, a coupe with nothing cut off.’
      • ‘He was a balding, buck-toothed and sweaty short man, and thank God I only had to see his odorous nubby head twice before the drugs started working.’
      • ‘I had silky pears, heavy with syrup, cold, nubbly ice cream and warm, velvety chocolate sauce.’
      • ‘I value it for its nubbly texture and nutty flavour.’
      • ‘Cut fresh, nonflowering soft stem tips just below a leaf node (the nubby joint where the leaves attach to the stem) anytime during summer; about four inches is good.’


Early 19th century (as nubbly): derivative of nubble.