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See more synonyms for bobbin on Thesaurus.com
  1. a reel, cylinder, or spool upon which yarn or thread is wound, as used in spinning, machine sewing, lacemaking, etc.
  2. Electricity.
    1. a spoollike form around which a coil of insulated wire is wound to provide an inductance.
    2. the coil itself.
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Origin of bobbin

1520–30; < Middle French bobine hank of thread, perhaps bob- an expressive base akin to bob2 + -ine -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bobbin


  1. a spool or reel on which thread or yarn is wound, being unwound as required; spool; reel
  2. narrow braid or cord used as binding or for trimming
  3. a device consisting of a short bar and a length of string, used to control a wooden door latch
    1. a spool on which insulated wire is wound to form the coil of a small electromagnetic device, such as a bell or buzzer
    2. the coil of such a spool
  4. (plural) British slang matter that is worthless or of inferior quality; rubbish
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Word Origin

C16: from Old French bobine, of unknown origin
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 bobbin


1520s, from French bobine, small instrument used in sewing or tapestry-making, perhaps from Latin balbus (see babble (v.)) for the stuttering, stammering noise it made.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper