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[kob-uh l]
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verb (used with object), cob·bled, cob·bling.
  1. to mend (shoes, boots, etc.); patch.
  2. to put together roughly or clumsily.

Origin of cobble1

First recorded in 1490–1500; apparently back formation from cobbler


[kob-uh l]
  1. a cobblestone.
  2. cobbles, coal in lumps larger than a pebble and smaller than a boulder.
  3. Metalworking.
    1. a defect in a rolled piece resulting from loss of control over its movement.
    2. Slang.a piece showing bad workmanship.
verb (used with object), cob·bled, cob·bling.
  1. to pave with cobblestones.

Origin of cobble2

1595–1605; perhaps cob + -le; see cobblestone


[kob-uh l]
  1. New England, New York State, and New Jersey. (especially in placenames) a rounded hill.

Origin of cobble3

First recorded in 1885–95; perhaps < cobble2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cobbles

Historical Examples

  • The beast sprang forward, with a shower of sparks from the cobbles.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales

    C. Bryson Taylor

  • He stopped and stared down at me, tapping a sole on the cobbles.

  • There was a sound behind on the cobbles outside the kitchen door.

    Robert Elsmere

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • I'd like to see you coming through our wood and across the cobbles.

    Moor Fires</p>

    E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young

  • The Plaza is paved with cobbles, which are disadvantageous for dancing.

    Northern Spain

    Edgar T. A. Wigram

British Dictionary definitions for cobbles


pl n
  1. coal in small rounded lumps
  2. cobblestones


  1. short for cobblestone
  2. geology a rock fragment, often rounded, with a diameter of 64–256 mm and thus smaller than a boulder but larger than a pebble
  1. (tr) to pave (a road) with cobblestones
See also cobbles
Derived Formscobbled, adjective

Word Origin

C15 (in cobblestone): from cob 1


verb (tr)
  1. to make or mend (shoes)
  2. to put together clumsily

Word Origin

C15: back formation from cobbler 1
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

Word Origin and History for cobbles



"paving stone; worn, rounded stone," c.1600, earlier cobblestone, probably a diminutive of cob in some sense. The verb in this sense is from 1690s. Related: Cobbled; cobbling.



"to mend clumsily," late 15c., perhaps a back-formation from cobbler (n.1), or from cob, via a notion of lumps. Related: Cobbled; cobbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cobbles in Science


  1. A rock fragment larger than a pebble and smaller than a boulder. Pebbles have a diameter between 64 and 256 mm (2.56 and 10.24 inches) and are often rounded.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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