Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Nib, NIB, and ní b'


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A fountain pen nib.
Cocoa nibs

Alternative forms[edit]


From a variant of neb, perhaps due to association with nibble.


  • IPA(key): /nɪb/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪb


nib (plural nibs)

  1. The tip of a pen or tool that touches the surface, transferring ink to paper.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room, Chapter 1:
      Slowly welling from the point of her gold nib, pale blue ink dissolved the full stop; for there her pen stuck; her eyes fixed, and tears slowly filled them.
  2. The bill or beak of a bird; the neb.
  3. Bits of trapped dust or other foreign material that form imperfections in painted or varnished surfaces.
  4. A piece of a roasted, hulled cocoa bean.
  5. A small and pointed thing or part; a point; a prong.
  6. One of the handles projecting from a scythe snath.
  7. The shaft of a wagon.


  • (handle projecting from a scythe snath): thole

Derived terms[edit]



nib (third-person singular simple present nibs, present participle nibbing, simple past and past participle nibbed)

  1. (transitive) To fit (a pen) with a nib.
    • 1820, James Henry Lewis, The best method of pen-making:
      In nibbing the pen, place the inside of the point flat upon the nail of your left-hand thumb (holding the quill between the first and second finger of that hand), and let the whole length of the split be extended thereon, to steady the pen as much as possible []