[ gob-lin ]
/ ˈgɒb lɪn /


a grotesque sprite or elf that is mischievous or malicious toward people.

Origin of goblin

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English gobelin, from Middle French, from Middle High German kobold “goblin”; see kobold

synonym study for goblin

Goblin, gnome, gremlin refer to supernatural beings thought to be malevolent to people. Goblins are demons of any size, usually in human or animal form, that are supposed to assail, afflict, and even torture human beings: “Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd, …” (Shakespeare, Hamlet I, iv ). Gnomes are small beings, like ugly little old men, who live in the earth, guarding mines, treasures, etc. They are mysteriously malevolent and terrify human beings by causing dreadful mishaps to occur. Gremlins are thought to disrupt machinery and are active in modern folklore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for goblin

British Dictionary definitions for goblin

/ (ˈɡɒblɪn) /


(in folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature, regarded as malevolent towards human beings

Word Origin for goblin

C14: from Old French, from Middle High German kobolt; compare cobalt
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