Meaning of squab in English:


Pronunciation /skwɒb/


  • 1A young unfledged pigeon.

    ‘Young squabs stretched their legs and body and flapped their wings vigorously.’
    • ‘They taught me to raise pigeon squabs in the barns and farm and I hunted rabbit.’
    • ‘When they discovered that all the local homing pigeons were booked up, they bought 80 squabs from a poultry market in Newark, N.J.’
    • ‘Did you know, baby doves are actually called squabs, which is a horrible word.’
    1. 1.1mass noun The flesh of young pigeon as food.
      ‘roast squab’
      • ‘Award-winning chef Eyck Zimmer serves up modern European cuisine, with delicious dishes such as roast squab or crayfish risotto.’
      • ‘It offers dozens of tapas-style selections, from clams stuffed with fresh garlic and a mackerel tart with Parmesan and olives to squab stuffed with foîe gras and cabbage.’
      • ‘Spoon some of the diced squab and pigeon breast meat into six soup bowls.’
      • ‘Pixie's squab with roast vegetables and rosti was outstanding: pigeon is difficult to cook right, but her squab was done to perfection.’
      • ‘Remove from the heat and transfer the squab to the prepared roasting rack.’
  • 2British The padded back or side of a vehicle seat.

    ‘Electric seat adjusters are usually on the side of the seat squab.’
    • ‘And thanks to longer squabs the seats were more comfortable; a relief to those who may have driven the Terrano perhaps!’
    • ‘That centre front seat slides all the way back until it hits the rear-seat squab, so a child can still sit ‘in the front’, but remains sufficiently rearward not to be hit by an airbag designed to restrain an adult.’
    1. 2.1A thick stuffed cushion, especially one covering the seat of a chair or sofa.
      cushion, squab, pillow, bolster


  • (of a person) short and fat.

    ‘a squab, square-featured personage’
    • ‘His eyes were large, his figure short and squab.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘inexperienced person’): of unknown origin; compare with obsolete quab ‘shapeless thing’ and Swedish dialect skvabba ‘fat woman’.