[ bob-in ]
/ ˈbɒb ɪn /


a reel, cylinder, or spool upon which yarn or thread is wound, as used in spinning, machine sewing, lacemaking, etc.
  1. a spoollike form around which a coil of insulated wire is wound to provide an inductance.
  2. the coil itself.

Nearby words

  1. bobbed,
  2. bobbejaan,
  3. bobber,
  4. bobbery,
  5. bobbie,
  6. bobbin and fly frame,
  7. bobbin and joan,
  8. bobbin lace,
  9. bobbin turning,
  10. bobbinet

Origin of bobbin

1520–30; < Middle French bobine hank of thread, perhaps bob- an expressive base akin to bob2 + -ine -ine2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bobbin

British Dictionary definitions for bobbin


/ (ˈbɒbɪn) /


a spool or reel on which thread or yarn is wound, being unwound as required; spool; reel
narrow braid or cord used as binding or for trimming
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
(plural) British slang matter that is worthless or of inferior quality; rubbish

Word Origin for bobbin

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper