hob·​nob | \ ˈhäb-ˌnäb How to pronounce hobnob (audio) \
hobnobbed; hobnobbing

Definition of hobnob

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to drink sociably
2 : to associate familiarly

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Other Words from hobnob

hobnobber noun

Hobnob and Shakespeare

Hob and nob first came together in print in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, when Sir Toby Belch warns Viola (who is disguised as a man) that Sir Andrew wants to duel. "Hob, nob is his word," says Sir Toby, using hob and nob to mean something like "hit or miss." Sir Toby's words are probably from the term habnab (also styled as a phrase: hab or nab), which meant "in one way or another" or "however it may turn out." After Shakespeare's day, hob and nob became established in the phrase to drink hobnob (also styled as to drink hob or nob), which meant "to drink alternately to each other." Since "drinking hobnob" was generally done among friends, hobnob came to refer to congenial social interaction.

Examples of hobnob in a Sentence

He loves to hobnob with celebrities. those two have been hobnobbing together since freshman year

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s plenty of hobnobbing to be found at Espressit, which is located on a walkable stretch of Haddon Avenue where strip malls and auto-centric businesses collide with traditional retail blocks. Kevin Riordan, Philly.com, "Not just another java joint, Westmont's Espressit is up for sale," 2 July 2018 Taciturn and deeply conservative, Cox is not a politician who seems open to hobnobbing with Democrats. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "How a reshaped Virginia legislature learned to love Medicaid expansion," 4 June 2018 Imagine the uproar if the FBI during President Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020 gets caught using an informant to hobnob with the campaign staff of, say, Sen. Bernie Sanders. WSJ, "On the FBI’s Informant Who Wasn’t a Spy," 28 May 2018 Those security checks are a requirement for anyone who wants to hobnob with the president, even the Far Hills Country Day School celebrating their eighth-grade graduation at Trump National in Bedminster on Friday night. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Donald Trump, Wedding Guest: Two Brides on Hosting the Wedding-Crasher-in-Chief," 15 June 2017 Aside from screenings, panels, cocktails and the chance to hobnob with stars, Los Angeles and New York are wallpapered with billboards, streetlight banners and bus-shelter ads ahead of Monday's start of the two-week voting period for 2018 nominees. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Zach Galifianakis serves Arby's? The insane explosion of Emmy campaigning," 6 June 2018 Amid all the celebrity hobnobbing, Mother American Night remains resiliently idea-filled. Jesse Jarnow, WIRED, "The Ghost of John Perry Barlow Lives in His Posthumous Memoir," 5 June 2018 In the four-month tour that followed, the prince rode elephants, hobnobbed with maharajahs, visited the Taj Mahal by moonlight—and found plenty of treasures. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Souvenirs of a Prince’s Passage to India," 18 May 2018 Still, just hours after hobnobbing at the Salesforce Tower opening, Leno was feted at a fundraiser hosted at the Sea Cliff home of downtown real estate magnate Clint Reilly. Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF’s Salesforce Tower opening showed strange bedfellows of tech and politics," 27 May 2018

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

1813, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hobnob

from the obsolete phrase drink hobnob to drink alternately to one another

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hobnail boot





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Time Traveler for hobnob

The first known use of hobnob was in 1813

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English Language Learners Definition of hobnob

: to spend time with someone (such as a famous or wealthy person) in a friendly way

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More from Merriam-Webster on hobnob

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hobnob

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hobnob

Spanish Central: Translation of hobnob

Nglish: Translation of hobnob for Spanish Speakers

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