gob·​lin | \ ˈgä-blən How to pronounce goblin (audio) \

Definition of goblin

: an ugly or grotesque sprite that is usually mischievous and sometimes evil and malicious

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Examples of goblin in a Sentence

dressed up the toddlers like goblins for Halloween

Recent Examples on the Web

Like the fruits of the goblin market in Christine Rossetti’s Victorian poem from which the restaurant takes its name, the ingredients are unique and tempting. Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "The Sticky Pig cocktail at Goblin Market uses complicated ingredients for simple flavors," 29 Aug. 2019 Sharks range in form from the bizarre goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni), most commonly encountered in Japan, to the gentle filter-feeding whale shark (Rhincodon typus). Gavin Naylor, The Conversation, "Shark Week looms, but don’t panic," 25 July 2019 In that tale, a gravedigger named Gabriel Grubb who hates Christmas is kidnapped by goblins who help him regain the holiday spirit. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Who Actually Wrote 'A Christmas Carol,' and Other Fascinating Facts About the Story," 20 Dec. 2018 Sophisticated, witty and sharply political, the book tells of the elf Brangwain Spurge and the goblin Werfel, two scholars from feuding kingdoms who are swept into a maelstrom of espionage, deceit and prejudice. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Heavyweight Contenders," 22 Nov. 2018 Instead of being attractive in any way, Count Orlok is truly a freaky creature of the night, all frighteningly long fingers and goblin-esque facial features. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Hotel Transylvania 3': Ranking the best movie Draculas, from Bela Lugosi to Adam Sandler," 9 July 2018 Robert Scheer/IndyStar Gen Con is no stranger to the color green: dragons' scales, witches' brews and goblins' faces plaster the hundreds of games at the annual event. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Gen Con 2018 to slay waste with new sustainability efforts at gaming event," 18 Apr. 2018 Its members liked to call themselves kleagles, goblins and other names of darkling potency, to meet in solemn 'konklaves,' burn a fiery cross upon a distant hill and, perchance, frighten a Negro child outnumbered 100 to 1. The Washington Post, AL.com, "An Alabama-born preacher helped revive the KKK in 1915," 10 Apr. 2018 This thing sounds like a goblin, all mechanical grumble and spitting overrun. James Lipman, Car and Driver, "Audi TT RS vs. Porsche 718 Cayman S," 21 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goblin.' 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 goblin

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for goblin

Middle English gobelin, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin gobelinus, ultimately from Greek kobalos rogue

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Dictionary Entries near goblin

go blank


goblet cell


go blind



Statistics for goblin

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for goblin

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

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More Definitions for goblin



English Language Learners Definition of goblin

in stories : an ugly and sometimes evil creature that likes to cause trouble


gob·​lin | \ ˈgä-blən How to pronounce goblin (audio) \

Kids Definition of goblin

: an ugly and often evil imaginary creature

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Comments on goblin

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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