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verb (used with object), lobbed, lob·bing.
  1. Tennis. to hit (a ball) in a high arc to the back of the opponent's court.
  2. to fire (a missile, as a shell) in a high trajectory so that it drops onto a target.
  3. Cricket. to bowl (the ball) with a slow underhand motion.
  4. to throw (something) slowly in an arc.
verb (used without object), lobbed, lob·bing.
  1. Tennis. to lob a ball.
  1. Tennis. a ball hit in a high arc to the back of the opponent's court.
  2. Cricket. a ball bowled with a slow underhand motion.
  3. 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 formslob·ber, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lobbing


  1. a ball struck in a high arc
  2. cricket a ball bowled in a slow high arc
verb lobs, lobbing or lobbed
  1. to hit or kick (a ball) in a high arc
  2. 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


  1. short for lobworm

Word Origin

C17 (in the sense: pendulous object): related to lob 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 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