babbitt

[ bab-it ]
/ ˈbæb ɪt /
|

noun

a bearing or lining of Babbitt metal.

adjective

pertaining to or made of Babbitt metal.

verb (used with object)

to line, face, or furnish with Babbitt metal.

Origin of babbitt

First recorded in 1900–05; short for Babbitt metal

Definition for babbitt (2 of 2)

Babbitt

[ bab-it ]
/ ˈbæb ɪt /

noun

Irving,1865–1933, U.S. educator and critic.
Milton Byron,1916–2011, U.S. composer.
(italics) a novel (1922) by Sinclair Lewis.
(often lowercase) a self-satisfied person who conforms readily to conventional, middle-class ideas and ideals, especially of business and material success; Philistine: from the main character in the novel by Sinclair Lewis.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for babbitt

British Dictionary definitions for babbitt (1 of 2)

babbitt

/ (ˈbæbɪt) /

verb

(tr) to line (a bearing) or face (a surface) with Babbitt metal or a similar soft alloy

British Dictionary definitions for babbitt (2 of 2)

Babbitt

/ (ˈbæbɪt) /

noun

US derogatory a narrow-minded and complacent member of the middle class

Derived FormsBabbittry, noun

Word Origin for Babbitt

C20: after George Babbitt, central character in the novel Babbitt (1922) by Sinclair Lewis
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

Culture definitions for babbitt

Babbitt

(1922) A novel by Sinclair Lewis. The title character, an American real estate agent in a small city, is portrayed as a crass, loud, overoptimistic boor who thinks only about money and speaks in clichés, such as “You've gotta have pep, by golly!”


Note

By extension, a “Babbitt” is a narrow-minded, materialistic businessman.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.