hob·​nail | \ ˈhäb-ˌnāl How to pronounce hobnail (audio) \

Definition of hobnail

: a short large-headed nail for studding shoe soles

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Other Words from hobnail

hobnailed \ ˈhäb-​ˌnāld How to pronounce hobnailed (audio) \ adjective

Examples of hobnail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most conspicuous of all are the glinting hobnails in the sole of the boot on the left. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Van Gogh puts feet first with ‘A Pair of Boots’," 31 Oct. 2019 Decked out in green puttees, hobnail boots and a bomber jacket. Amanda Demarco, WSJ, "‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’ Review: A Low-Life for the Ages," 23 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hobnail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hobnail

1592, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hobnail

hob entry 2

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Learn More about hobnail

Time Traveler for hobnail

Time Traveler

The first known use of hobnail was in 1592

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Statistics for hobnail

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Hobnail.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hobnailed. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hobnail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hobnail

Spanish Central: Translation of hobnail

Nglish: Translation of hobnail for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hobnail

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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