[bob-uh l]
See more synonyms for bobble on
  1. a repeated, jerky movement; bob.
  2. a momentary fumbling or juggling of a batted or thrown baseball.
  3. an error; mistake.
  4. a small ball of fabric usually used decoratively, as in a fringe or other trimming: a sweater with a line of bobbles up the sleeves.
verb (used with object), bob·bled, bob·bling.
  1. to juggle or fumble (a batted or thrown baseball) momentarily, usually resulting in an error.

Origin of bobble

1805–15; bob1 + -le; (def 4) perhaps new formation with bob2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bobble

Historical Examples of bobble

  • There was a family at Bobble Hill all killed last week for fifty dollars.

    The Wit of Women

    Kate Sanborn

  • When I seek to do what I supremely consider to be for the best I make a bobble.

  • He could distinguish that there was something; and that the something seemed to bobble.

    The Homesteader

    Oscar Micheaux

  • This, like all other counter-currents—wave or otherwise—tossed up a bobble of dispute when the two clashed.

    A List To Starboard

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • She jess reads right straight along from cover to cover without a bobble.

British Dictionary definitions for bobble


  1. a short jerky motion, as of a cork floating on disturbed water; bobbing movement
  2. a tufted ball, usually for ornament, as on a knitted hat
  3. any small dangling ball or bundle
  1. (intr) sport (of a ball) to bounce with a rapid erratic motion due to an uneven playing surface
  2. US informal to handle (something) ineptly; muff; bunglehe bobbled the ball and lost the game

Word Origin for bobble

C19: from bob 1 (vb)
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 bobble

1812, frequentative of bob (v.1). The notion is "to move or handle something with continual bobbing." Related: Bobbled; bobbling. Bobble-head as a type of doll is from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper