Definition of nub in English:


Syllabification: nub
Pronunciation: /nəb


1 (the nub) The crux or central point of a matter: the nub of the problem lies elsewhere
More example sentences
  • Now, here is the nub of the matter and the next - possibly cataclysmic - pitfall into which Labour, in its enduring arrogance and self-interest, may well fall.
  • But limited sight seemed in no way to impede his ability to get through the business; indeed it didn't impede his ability to cut to the nub of the matter at issue.
  • This brings us to the nub of the matter - who exactly should the SAC be funding, and in what proportions?
crux, central point, main point, core, heart, heart of the matter, nucleus, essence, quintessence, kernel, marrow, meat, pith;
gist, substance
informal nitty-gritty
2A small lump or protuberance: he pressed down on the two nubs on top of the phone
More example sentences
  • With the little protruding nubs of the follower caught by your fingernails, its open-side 10-round magazine doesn't fight you when you insert the cartridges.
  • At Ingolstadt, the branchlike ribs are disjunctively representational, carved with protruding nubs or twigs signaling their botanical nature.
  • While bright color and multicolored nubs and slubs enlivened the tweeds, the houndstooth wovens were often found in black and white.
2.1A small chunk or nugget of metal or rock: a nub of gold
More example sentences
  • With my toes perched precariously on a nub of rock, I frantically search for the next handhold.
  • There, as in the other cave, was the small nub of rock that was slightly discolored.


late 17th century: apparently a variant of dialect knub 'protuberance', from Middle Low German knubbe, knobbe 'knob'.

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