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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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 After all, how does one follow up the biggest fantasy franchise of all time, which propelled him to global stardom as ring-bearing hobbit Frodo Baggins? Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2021 Dominic Monaghan, who played the hobbit Merry in the films, revealed producers tried to pressure Peter Jackson into killing one of the halflings. Andrea Towers, EW.com, 29 July 2021 Killing a hobbit just wouldn't have felt right on any level. Andrea Towers, EW.com, 29 July 2021 The perverse power duo, Russell and Parvati are like Mr. and Mrs. Smith — if Mr. and Mrs. Smith were an evil bayou hobbit and a yoga-teaching succubus. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 6 May 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 19 June 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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Last Updated

6 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hobbit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobbit. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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