\ ˈfäb How to pronounce fob (audio) \

Definition of fob

 (Entry 1 of 3)

2 : a short strap, ribbon, or chain attached especially to a pocket watch
3 : an ornament attached to a fob chain
4 or key fob : an object attached to a key chain or key ring especially : a small electronic device used typically in place of a key (as to unlock a door or start a vehicle) or to remotely initiate the action of another device (such as a garage door) Wireless systems are triggered by pressing a button on a remote fob much like those used for car alarms. — Max Alexander The remote-start key fob has a range of several hundred feet, allowing you to start the car's engine from inside your home. Consumer Reports


fobbed; fobbing

Definition of fob (Entry 2 of 3)

Definition of FOB (Entry 3 of 3)

free on board

Examples of fob in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert Trailer light check enables the driver, using the key fob, to verify that running lights, turn signals and brake lights are operating as intended. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Newest Nissan Titan XD could be 'King' of versatility," 3 Nov. 2017 The vehicle had an electronic key fob inside the unlocked vehicle, which allowed the suspect to start the car. Brittany Seemuth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Menomonee Falls-Germantown police reports: Germantown driver nearly collides with train," 17 Oct. 2017 The power liftgate has a programmable height setting and can be opened one of three ways; a button on the key fob, a button inside the vehicle, or a touch pad on the lower edge of the liftgate. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Chevrolet’s Traverse big crossover gets a complete makeover for 2018," 30 Sep. 2017 Grand Theft Auto 8800 block of Miralago Way in Parkland, Sept. 5, 8:07 a.m. People entered two unlocked vehicles in the driveway and rummaged through them and stole a 2011 Jaguar XJL with the key fob left inside., "Coral Springs Area Crime Log: Aug. 27 - Sept. 5," 17 Oct. 2017 BURGLARY Keys attached to a key fob and lanyard were reportedly stolen between Sept. 9 and 10 from a vehicle parked in the 6400 block of Spaulding Avenue. Chicago Tribune,, "Police: Bolingbrook woman charged with drug possession following traffic stop," 18 Sep. 2017 Ed Bilinkas offered the jury his theory of how the key fob may have been broken. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Kill or be killed? Ex-teacher shoots, kills ex-NYPD officer in her home," 7 Oct. 2017 View 105 Photos Active Key-Fob Commands For Rams equipped with the air suspension, holding down a button on the key fob will lower the truck for easier entry. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "2018 Ram 1500," 13 Sep. 2017 Residents open the door with an electronic key fob. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Suspect in custody in connection to killing of woman in Downtown apartment's fitness center," 13 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of fob


1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fob


perhaps akin to German dialect Fuppe pocket


Middle English fobben

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fob

Statistics for fob

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fob

The first known use of fob was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fob

Financial Definition of FOB

What It Is

Free on board (FOB) is a contractual term that refers to the requirement that the seller deliver goods at the seller's cost via a specific route to a destination designated by the buyer.

How It Works

To understand how FOB terms work, let's look at an example.

Assume that you're a jelly dealer and you purchase 10,000 jars of jelly from Company XYZ. Company XYZ manufactures the jars of jelly in Japan and you sell them in your store in California. If your purchase contract says "FOB, San Francisco, ABC warehouse," this means Company XYZ will pay the loading and shipping costs to get the 10,000 jars of jelly from its Japanese factory to the ABC warehouse in San Francisco. The jelly becomes your property in San Francisco, meaning that if the jars are lost, destroyed, or stolen on the way to San Francisco, Company XYZ is liable because it still owns the goods while they're in transit. Likewise, if they are lost, destroyed, or stolen after they reach the ABC warehouse, you are liable.

Why It Matters

FOB terms indicate when the risk of loss shifts from the seller to the buyer. They are very important to participants in international transactions and particularly for contracts involving delicate items or items that are vulnerable to theft.

Our example illustrates the concept of FOB Destination, which is the standard and most common FOB term. But some contracts use FOB Origin, whereby the buyer becomes the owner at the time and place the product originates (in the Japanese factory, in our example). Buyers may prefer FOB Origin terms if they feel they can get a better deal on shipping than the seller can. It is important to note that the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) generally assumes a transaction's terms are FOB Origin if a purchase contract has no specific FOB language in it. This makes the buyer responsible for freight and damaged goods.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of fob

: a short chain attached especially to a pocket watch
: a small object that is a decoration on a watch chain or a key ring



Legal Definition of F.O.B.

free on board

More from Merriam-Webster on fob

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fob

Comments on fob

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


suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!