Definition of nib in English:


Line breaks: nib
Pronunciation: /nɪb


  • 1The pointed end part of a pen, which distributes the ink on the writing surface.
    More example sentences
    • Writing was done with nibs fitted into a pen holder.
    • 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.
    • At this, Ian pressed his pen so hard into the surface of the paper that he broke his nib.
  • 1.1A pointed or projecting part of an object: slide the tile into place until the nibs hook on
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 2 (nibs) Shelled and crushed coffee or cocoa beans.
    More example sentences
    • In a small bowl, combine the cacao nibs and brown sugar.
    • Add the cocoa nibs and 5-spice powder while stirring constantly to coat.
    • 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.
  • 3A speck of solid matter in a coat of paint or varnish.
    More example sentences
    • Usually, it will be beneficial to sand with 180-240 paper between coats to reduce nibs and imperfections.
    • Wet sanding removed the dust nibs, leveled the surface and produced a satin finish.
    • Remove any small dust nibs that have gotten trapped in the finish before it sets up, smooth out any remaining brush marks or over-spray, remove any other minor imperfections in the finish.



More example sentences
  • Kara unclipped and held her weapon out in front of herself, left hand over right wrist and shuffled through dust and orange nibbed needles.
  • After the telephone conversation I drafted the memo to Dot using my broad nibbed fountain pen which Eddie Jordan had been using.
  • I'm not a saw collector, but for no particular reason I've started accumulating saws that have interesting handles (rosewood, etc.) and those that have nibbed blades, which I thought tended to indicate age.


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

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