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verb (used with object) Slang.
  1. to batter severely; strike heavily: He tried to clobber me with his club.
  2. to defeat decisively; drub; trounce.
  3. to denounce or criticize vigorously.
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Origin of clobber1

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; origin uncertain


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noun British, Australian Slang.
  1. (used with a plural verb) clothes.
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Origin of clobber2

1875–80; of obscure origin; cf. clobber3


verb (used with object)
  1. to paint over existing decoration on (a ceramic piece).
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Origin of clobber3

First recorded in 1850–55; earlier, to mend, patch up (clothes or shoes); of obscure origin


noun, verb (used without object) South Midland and Southern U.S.
  1. clabber.
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Regional variation note

See clabber.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for clobber

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It covered my hitting a girl in Ohio with my car, hard enough to clobber her.

    Highways in Hiding

    George Oliver Smith

  • I don't want to spend them fighting off attempts to clobber me every thirty seconds.


    James H Schmitz

  • I suggest to you, Brassbound, that the clobber belongs to Lady Sis.

  • And then whatever bully boys you're running will clobber us?

    The Time Traders

    Andre Norton

  • The clobber decoration is not alone in enamel colours or gold, but even lacquer is used for the same purpose.

British Dictionary definitions for clobber


verb (tr) slang
  1. to beat or batter
  2. to defeat utterly
  3. to criticize severely
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Word Origin

C20: of unknown origin


  1. British slang personal belongings, such as clothes and accessories
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Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin


  1. (tr) to paint over existing decoration on (pottery)
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Word Origin

C19 (originally in the sense: to patch up): of uncertain origin; perhaps related to clobber ²
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 clobber


1941, British air force slang, probably related to bombing; possibly echoic. Related: Clobbered; clobbering. In late 19c. British slang the word principally had to do with clothing, e.g. clobber (n.) "clothes," (v.) "to dress smartly;" clobber up "to patch old clothes for reuse."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper