Definition of nib in English:

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Pronunciation: /nɪb/


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



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).

Words that rhyme with nib

bib, crib, dib, fib, glib, jib, lib, rib, sib, snib, squib

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nib

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