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[bob-uh l] /ˈbɒb əl/
a repeated, jerky movement; bob.
a momentary fumbling or juggling of a batted or thrown baseball.
an error; mistake.
a small ball of fabric usually used decoratively, as in a fringe or other trimming:
a sweater with a line of bobbles up the sleeves.
verb (used with object), bobbled, bobbling.
to juggle or fumble (a batted or thrown baseball) momentarily, usually resulting in an error.
Origin of bobble
1805-15; bob1 + -le; (def 4) perhaps new formation with bob2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bobble
Historical Examples
  • There was a family at bobble Hill all killed last week for fifty dollars.

    The Wit of Women

    Kate Sanborn
  • When I seek to do what I supremely consider to be for the best I make a bobble.

    Frank Merriwell's Triumph Burt L. Standish
  • He could distinguish that there was something; and that the something seemed to bobble.

    The Homesteader Oscar Micheaux
  • This, like all other counter-currents—wave or otherwise—tossed up a bobble of dispute when the two clashed.

    A List To Starboard F. Hopkinson Smith
  • She jess reads right straight along from cover to cover without a bobble.

  • He turns her north on the bullyvard, without a skip or a bobble, and she runs smooth as grease.

    The Man Next Door

    Emerson Hough
  • I don't know—I don't feel half as sure of myself as I did before I made that bobble in town.

    The Uphill Climb

    B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for bobble


a short jerky motion, as of a cork floating on disturbed water; bobbing movement
a tufted ball, usually for ornament, as on a knitted hat
any small dangling ball or bundle
(intransitive) (sport) (of a ball) to bounce with a rapid erratic motion due to an uneven playing surface
(US, informal) to handle (something) ineptly; muff; bungle: he bobbled the ball and lost the game
Word Origin
C19: from bob1 (vb)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bobble

1812, frequentative of bob (v.1). The notion is "to move or handle something with continual bobbing." Related: Bobbled; bobbling. Bobble-head as a type of doll is from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bobble



: The President's denial was a bad bobble


To blunder; esp in baseball, to mishandle or drop the ball (1900+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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