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 Up close, its concrete bunkers look like Swedish backstuga or the hobbit houses in The Lord of the Rings, half-built into the prairie and roofed with soil. Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, "The Bunker Magnates Hate to Say They Told You So," 15 Sep. 2020 Located off the pond, the home's entrance—which is circular and surrounded by greenery— resembles a hobbit hole. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "This Underground House in Texas Is for Sale, and It’s Super Colorful," 28 Aug. 2020 Enter through a pivoting hobbit-style front door with hardware from the 1800s and climb the spiral staircase crafted from an 800-year-old juniper tree. oregonlive, "Escape to the middle of nowhere: Stay in a serene Oregon vacation home surrounded by nature," 28 Aug. 2020 The British actor was best known for playing the android Ash in Ridley Scott's classic 1979 horror film Alien and the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Ian Holm, star of Alien and Lord of the Rings, dies at 88," 19 June 2020 In fact, the anxious youngster was no man, but a hobbit, Frodo Baggins; the religious elder was the wizard Gandalf, to whom Frodo disclosed his fear on the road to the evil realm of Mordor. Rod Dreher, WSJ, "Courage in the Darkness," 30 Apr. 2020 The greens on either side of the road were the limes and emeralds of fairy tales, of hobbit homes and swearing. Lisa Taddeo, Condé Nast Traveler, "On a Trip to Ireland, Author Lisa Taddeo Confronts Her Grief," 13 Apr. 2020 The panel of judges include Emmy, Tony, and GRAMMY award-winning actor Billy Porter, Kristie Wolfe, an Airbnb Superhost who created a hobbit house and the potato house, and architectural design firm MVRD. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Airbnb is Giving Away $1 Million to Build Fantasy Homes," 10 Mar. 2020 The feline is a luxury pet, with bald skin, big ears, and eyes as buggy as a 500-year-old hobbit’s (which some, inexplicably, find beautiful). Laura Mallonee, Wired, "Uncanny Portraits of Perfectly Symmetrical Pets," 15 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for hobbit

Time Traveler

The first known use of hobbit was in 1937

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Statistics for hobbit

Last Updated

29 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hobbit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobbit. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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