ko·​bold ˈkō-ˌbȯld How to pronounce kobold (audio)
: a gnome that in German folklore inhabits underground places
: an often mischievous domestic spirit of German folklore

Examples of kobold in a Sentence

the metal cobalt gets its name from the medieval Germanic belief that its appearance in silver ore was the handiwork of mischievous, thieving kobolds
Recent Examples on the Web This element takes its name from the German word kobelt, signifying kobolds—gnomes and goblins thought to haunt mines. Sanjana Curtis, Scientific American, 4 July 2023 The word cobalt comes from the German word kobold, meaning goblin. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 18 Aug. 2022 Otherworldly cities modeled on real ones have been a standby of fantasy, from Superman’s Metropolis through China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun to Michael Swanwick’s Babel, with its haints and kobolds, ethnic politics and human ward-heelers. Tom Shippey, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kobold.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


German — more at cobalt

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of kobold was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near kobold

Cite this Entry

“Kobold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kobold. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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