Definition of nubby in US English:


(also nubbly)


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

    ‘upholstered in nubby blue cotton’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Typical Bowmore suppleness but a tannic astringency cuts into its usual velvety texture and turns it into nubbly silk.’
    • ‘It is like a nubby silk shantung, this culture thing.’
    • ‘Her fabrication ranges from rich tweed with nubby (yet soft to the touch) textures, silk crêpe, georgette, satin and various (heavy to light) jerseys.’
    • ‘I calmed down, breathing deeply and squelching my toes in the nubbly carpeting.’
    • ‘And last night I went to Chinatown and bought some gorgeous raspberry nubbly silk, which tonight I made into curtains for my living room.’
    • ‘Frieze is a nubby twisted pile, it's less formal looking but will wear well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I brushed your nubbly sweater once at Galapagos but I was too shy to speak.’
    • ‘Stand under steaming hot water and rub your entire body with a loofah or a nubby washcloth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Across his shoulders and around his neck is a protective nubbly covering, possibly derived from a seedpod found on the forest floor.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Features include a nubby texture in the fabric and black pearl buttons.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lopsided she smiled as she wrapped masking tape around her hand to snatch naps from the nubby lemon sleeves.’
    1. 1.1 Stubby or lumpy.
      ‘the nubby points of the new leaves’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fruit is borne on spurs, 1-to 3-inch nubby twigs, on 2-to 6-year-old branches.’
      • ‘The thing is white, in high contrast to his nubby teeth, and he maneuvers it around his mouth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The space between becomes the nubbly texture of history.’
      • ‘Rubin designed the stylish, quasi-industrial new bakery, with its double-height plate-glass windows, down to the nubby recycled-cardboard dishware.’
      • ‘The night before, Brandon and I had hovered together over a flour-dusted counter, turning tiny lumps of pasta dough into rough, nubby spirals.’
      • ‘Suddenly those nubby little ends of pine branches that collect in the corners of tent floors are all over the place.’
      • ‘I had silky pears, heavy with syrup, cold, nubbly ice cream and warm, velvety chocolate sauce.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is by no means essential, but I like to do it to give the crumble a more interesting, nubbly texture.’
      • ‘I value it for its nubbly texture and nutty flavour.’
      • ‘His head was shaved bald, with four nubby horns on the top.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The thread that unravels from this cocoon is tangled and nubby, thus producing the texture of the doupioni.’
      • ‘Her people have beady round eyes and nubby, square teeth, and tend to look startled, with O-shaped mouths gaping wide.’


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