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From Middle English stubbe (tree stump), from Old English stybb, stubb (tree stump), from Proto-West Germanic *stubb, from Proto-Germanic *stubbaz (compare Middle Dutch stubbe, Old Norse stubbr, Faroese stubbi (stub)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)tew-; compare steep (sharp slope).

Sense extended in Middle English to similarly shaped objects. Verb sense “strike one’s toe” is recorded 1848; “extinguish a cigarette” 1927.[1]


  • enPR: stŭb, IPA(key): /stʌb/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌb


stub (plural stubs)

  1. Something blunted, stunted, or cut short, such as stubble or a stump.
  2. A piece of certain paper items, designed to be torn off and kept for record or identification purposes.
    check stub
    ticket stub
    payment stub
  3. (programming) A placeholder procedure that has the signature of the planned procedure but does not yet implement the intended behavior.
    Coordinate terms: mock, mock object
    • 2000, Nell B. Dale; Chip Weems; John W. McCormick, Programming and Problem Solving with ADA 95, second edition, Jones & Bartlett Learning, →ISBN, page 352:
      Even though the stub is a dummy, it allows us to determine whether the procedure is called at the right time by the program or calling procedure.
  4. (computing, middleware) A procedure that translates requests from external systems into a format suitable for processing and then submits those requests for processing.
    Coordinate term: skeleton
    • 2002, Judith M. Myerson, The Complete Book of Middleware, CRC Press, →ISBN, page 7:
      The server performs the server RPC runtime library functions to accept the request and call the server stub procedure. [] After this, the server stub calls the actual procedure on the server.
  5. (typography, in tabular matter) A row heading in a table (with horizontal reference, whereas a column heading has vertical reference).
    Coordinate term: substub
  6. (chiefly Wikimedia jargon) A page providing only minimal information and intended for later development.
    • 2008, John Broughton, Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, O'Reilly Media, →ISBN, page 66:
      A stub is usually long enough to serve as a quick definition, but too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject (see Figure 4-2).
  7. The remaining part of the docked tail of a dog
  8. An unequal first or last interest calculation period, as a part of a financial swap contract
  9. (obsolete) A log or block of wood.
  10. (obsolete) A blockhead.
    • [1644], [John Milton], Of Education. To Master Samuel Hartlib, [London: [] Thomas Underhill and/or Thomas Johnson], →OCLC, page 3:
      I doubt not but ye ſhall have more adoe to drive out dulleſt and lazieſt youth, our ſtocks and ſtubbs from the infinite deſire of such a happy nurture, than we have now to hale and drag our choiſeſt and hopefulleſt wits to that aſinine feaſt of ſowthiſtles and brambles[.]
  11. A pen with a short, blunt nib.
  12. An old and worn horseshoe nail.
  13. Stub iron.
  14. The smallest remainder of a smoked cigarette; a butt.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


stub (third-person singular simple present stubs, present participle stubbing, simple past and past participle stubbed)

  1. (transitive) To remove most of a tree, bush, or other rooted plant by cutting it close to the ground.
  2. (transitive) To remove a plant by pulling it out by the roots.
  3. (transitive) To jam, hit, or bump, especially a toe.
    I stubbed my toe trying to find the light switch in the dark.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “stub”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading[edit]



Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Slavic *stъlbъ.



stȗb m (Cyrillic spelling сту̑б)

  1. pillar
  2. column (upright supporting beam)