hob·​bit | \ ˈhä-bət How to pronounce hobbit (audio) \

Definition of hobbit

: a member of a fictitious peaceful and genial race of small humanlike creatures that dwell underground

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Did You Know?

What is a hobbit? wrote J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1937 fantasy novel that introduced Mr. Bilbo Baggins. The author then answered himself: "They are (or were) little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves.... There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along ...." Tolkien tells us that hobbits "are inclined to be fat," and that they "dress in bright colours"; they "have good-natured faces, and deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner)." Tolkien, a professional linguist who taught at Oxford, coined the word hobbit (and many other terms - in fact, a whole new language) for The Hobbit and for his enormously popular series The Lord of the Rings.

Examples of hobbit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Meanwhile, the hobbits, particularly Frodo and Sam, struggle at every step of their trek. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 The hobbits are gone Evolutionary biologist Serena Tucci of Princeton University and her colleagues obtained DNA samples from 32 people in Rampasasa. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The modern pygmies of Flores are not related to Homo floresiensis," 2 Aug. 2018 Sancia is more tormented and more streetwise than any hobbit, and Clef builds a rapport with her, unlike Bilbo’s Ring. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: A Bit of Magic Isn’t Always Enough," 12 Oct. 2018 And this particular hobbit hole, located in Holme, Cambridgeshire, is an abode full of creature comforts to make any Baggins proud. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "You Can Buy a Luxury Hobbit House for a Cool Million Bucks," 26 July 2016 There’s non-stop action, though not for faint hearts, and never an unassuming hobbit or fatherly ent by way of relief. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: A New Novel Destined to Be a Classic," 28 June 2018 The amphitheater calls to mind a hobbit-sized Bryce Canyon bristling with colorful hoodoos full of climbing and scrambling options. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Kid-friendly hikes around Arizona: Hit the trail with your family this summer," 28 June 2018 Three thousand kilometers to the south, on the island of Flores in Indonesia, archaeologists discovered H. floresiensis, a diminutive archaic human species known as the hobbit. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Ancient humans settled the Philippines 700,000 years ago," 2 May 2018 Price: $25,000 to $30,000, installed; unit includes drywall, insulation, LED lighting, hardwood floors Photo: Judy Bernier Hobbit Hangout The only U.S. owner of the shingled, hobbit-house looking Archipod is Judy Bernier. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "Backyard Sheds Go Upscale," 1 May 2018

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

1937, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hobbit

coined by J. R. R. Tolkien

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Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

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The first known use of hobbit was in 1937

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to corrupt or become corrupted

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