hobgoblin was our Word of the Day on 10/31/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of hobgoblin in a Sentence
intimidated by the hobgoblins of etiquette
in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck is a hobgoblin who plays pranks such as spoiling milk and tripping old ladies
Recent Examples of hobgoblin from the Web
Column B would be urban fantasy, as the villains are powerful demons from another astral plane and there are other species (hobgoblins, etc.) in play as well.
Her method: Start with the ostensible foreground — a lunch or a visit or a recipe for lemon drizzle cake — then introduce the emotional hobgoblins that throw the characters rewardingly off-kilter.
Start with the ostensible foreground — perhaps a lunch or a visit from a svelte refrigerator repairman or a recipe for lemon drizzle cake — then introduce the emotional hobgoblins that throw the characters rewardingly off-kilter.
Every year around the holidays, the most easily agitated people online return to a particular seasonal hobgoblin: decrying Starbucks as an agent in the War on Christmas.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hobgoblin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What's the Difference Between a Goblin and a hobgoblin?
While a goblin is traditionally regarded in folklore as a grotesque, evil, and malicious creature, a hobgoblin tends to be more about creating mischief. (The character of Puck from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream might be regarded as one.) First appearing in English in 1530, hobgoblin combined goblin with hob, a word meaning "sprite" or "elf" that derived from Hobbe, a nickname for Robert. Goblin derived via Middle English and Medieval Latin from the Greek word kobalos, meaning "rogue." The American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson famously applied the word's extended sense in his essay Self-Reliance: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Origin and Etymology of hobgoblin
First Known Use: 1530See Words from the same year
HOBGOBLIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hobgoblin for English Language Learners
: an ugly or evil creature that plays tricks in children's stories
: something that causes fear or worry
HOBGOBLIN Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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