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[lob] /lɒb/
verb (used with object), lobbed, lobbing.
Tennis. to hit (a ball) in a high arc to the back of the opponent's court.
to fire (a missile, as a shell) in a high trajectory so that it drops onto a target.
Cricket. to bowl (the ball) with a slow underhand motion.
to throw (something) slowly in an arc.
verb (used without object), lobbed, lobbing.
Tennis. to lob a ball.
Tennis. a ball hit in a high arc to the back of the opponent's court.
Cricket. a ball bowled with a slow underhand motion.
British Dialect. a slow, heavy, dull-witted person.
Origin of lob1
1325-75; in earlier sense, to behave like a lob (Middle English lobbe, lob bumpkin, clumsy person, orig. pollack; Old English: spider; basic sense, something pendulous); cognate with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch lobbe dangling part, stockfish, etc.
Related forms
lobber, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lobbing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Soon he was smoothly receiving the pitcher's curves and lobbing them back.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman

    Albert Walter Tolman
  • He defeated Ware by playing a lobbing game whenever he could.

  • I am now quite envious of the accuracy of my lobbing in those days.

    Lawn Tennis for Ladies Mrs. Lambert Chambers
  • A third had gone down under a sabre-cut, but had staggered up and was lobbing after his comrades at a painful canter.

    The Adventures of Harry Revel

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • They gave one deep howl, and settled down to the long, lobbing canter that can at the last run down anything that runs.

    The Second Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for lobbing


a ball struck in a high arc
(cricket) a ball bowled in a slow high arc
verb lobs, lobbing, lobbed
to hit or kick (a ball) in a high arc
(informal) to throw, esp in a high arc
Word Origin
C14: probably of Low German origin, originally in the sense: something dangling; compare Middle Low German lobbe hanging lower lip, Old English loppe spider


short for lobworm
Word Origin
C17 (in the sense: pendulous object): related to lob1
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 lobbing



"send up in a slow, high arc," 1824 (implied in lobbing), but the word existed 16c. in various senses suggesting heavy, pendant, or floppy things, and probably is ultimately from an unrecorded Old English word; cf. East Frisian lobbe "hanging lump of flesh," Dutch lob "hanging lip, ruffle, hanging sleeve," Danish lobbes "clown, bumpkin." Related: Lobbed; lobbing. The noun in this sense is from 1875, from the verb.



a word of widespread application to lumpish things, probably in Old English. Cf. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German lobbe, Old Norse lubba. From late 13c. as a surname; meaning "pollack" is from early 14c.; that of "lazy lout" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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