The tribological profile of alumina (99.7%) mated against rotating disks in two niobium carbide (NbC) grades were determined in unidirectional sliding tests (0.1 m/s to 7.5 m/s; 22°C and 400°C) as well as in oscillation tests (f= 20 Hz, ?x= 0.2 mm, 2/50/98% rel. humidity, n= 106 cycles) under unlubricated (dry) conditions. In addition, the microstructure and mechanical properties of NbC were determined as well. The reason for testing hot-pressed NbC was to avoid side effects generated by sintering additives and/or second phases. The tribological data obtained were benchmarked with different ceramics, cermets and thermally sprayed coatings. NbC exhibited low wear rates under dry sliding associated with high load carrying capacity. The tribological profile established revealed a strong position of NbC under tribological considerations and for closed tribo-systems against traditional references, such as WC, Cr3C2, (Ti,Mo)(C,N), etc.