bob·​ble | \ ˈbä-bəl How to pronounce bobble (audio) \
bobbled; bobbling\ ˈbä-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce bobbling (audio) \

Definition of bobble

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of bobble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a repeated bobbing movement
2 : a small ball of fabric especially : one in a series used on an edging
3 : error, mistake especially : a mishandling of the ball in baseball or football

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Examples of bobble in a Sentence


The catcher bobbled the ball. the first baseman bobbled the catch, so the runner was safe


a bobble that cost them the game The curtains have a series of bobbles along the edge.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Spartans center fielder Chance Dutcher bobbled it, and Freschlin landed on second thanks to an error. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Class S baseball: Matt Cook’s complete game shutout leads Coventry past Shepaug Valley 3-0," 8 June 2019 That put two on with two out, but the rally died when Chris Taylor grounded sharply to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who initially bobbled the ball but had plenty of time to force Kershaw at second to end the inning. Mike Digiovanna,, "Giants lead, 1-0, after five innings," 30 Mar. 2018 Moore bobbled it and then bounced the throw over to first base, where Healy couldn’t make the stop. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Whew! Mariners hang on to beat Red Sox despite three ninth-inning errors," 30 Mar. 2019 Following a weak volleyed effort from the Portuguese forward, De Gea got behind the ball, only to watch the ball bobble over his arms and into the net, seeing the first half end 2-1 to Portugal., "Portugal 3-3 Spain: Ronaldo Hat-Trick Cancels Out Costa Double and Nacho Strike in Group B Classic," 15 June 2018 Chapman seemed unsure whether to get the out at first or second, then bobbled the ball for an error. Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "Mariners rally in 11th, end A’s chances at AL West title," 25 Sep. 2018 Wilson bobbled a slightly off-target snap from center Justin Britt and retreated hastily to the 27 to retrieve it. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Play of the Week: Bad snaps don’t always kill the play when you have Russell Wilson at QB," 16 Oct. 2018 After an intentional walk to Nick Markakis, Cimber fielded a grounder by Flowers on the left side of the field but bobbled it and then rushed the throw, skipping it past Hosmer and allowing Freeman to score. Kevin Acee,, "Padres have themselves, umpire to blame for loss to Braves," 14 June 2018 He was lifted after bobbling a bunt that allowed Charlie Culberson to reach on an error. Kevin Acee,, "Matt Strahm continues to shine, work toward starting role for Padres," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Playing as if their hands were coated with Vaseline, the Legion had been careless with possession all game, and this final bobble would likely doom them. Griff Lacey / San Diego Legion, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legion win in closing seconds, will host MLR championship match," 9 June 2019 There was a third-down pass with 9:34 remaining that was a slight bobble away from being a Georgia interception, which would have kept the lead at 20-10 and made the climb back so, so difficult for the Crimson Tide. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Georgia had Alabama and let it slip away; Bulldogs' breakthrough moment delayed again," 9 Jan. 2018 In today’s ecosystem of loud, eye-catching thumbnails or staged, self-aware videos a la Poppy, the production bobbles should have viewers fleeing. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "YouTuber who eats disgusting food is everything good about the internet," 20 Nov. 2018 But outside of some light bobbles and false starts in Live in London, the pair’s musical and comedic chemistry is as sharp as ever. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "4 new TV shows to try, from Halloween horror to the Flight of the Conchords," 5 Oct. 2018 Both on a macro and micro level, Onrush includes a number of puzzling design decisions and execution bobbles. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Onrush game review: Sexy arcade racing in serious need of a tune-up," 5 June 2018 Dayesi Torriente and Sterling Baca were all things regal and strong (despite one rather large bobble in Torriente’s turns). Ellen Dunkel,, "Pennsylvania Ballet's 'Jewels' shines at the Academy of Music," 11 May 2018 Chen fell once and had bobbles on other jumps and moves. Barry Wilner, Houston Chronicle, "Russians get 1st gold thanks to 15-year-old Alina Zagitova," 22 Feb. 2018 Fister's solid work was spoiled by two pickoffs at second base and a bobble by Rougned Odor on a potential double-play grounder. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers don't back Fister in 2-1 loss to Mariners," 28 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bobble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bobble


1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bobble


frequentative of bob entry 1

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Statistics for bobble

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for bobble

The first known use of bobble was in 1812

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More Definitions for bobble



English Language Learners Definition of bobble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move up and down quickly or repeatedly
US : to handle (something, such as a ball) in a clumsy or awkward way : to fail to catch (something)



English Language Learners Definition of bobble (Entry 2 of 2)

US : a mistake that occurs when a player fails to catch or handle the ball properly in baseball, football, etc.
chiefly British : a small ball of fabric that is used for decoration

More from Merriam-Webster on bobble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bobble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bobble

Comments on bobble

What made you want to look up bobble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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