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hobby1

[hob-ee]
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noun, plural hob·bies.
  1. an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation: Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving.
  2. a child's hobbyhorse.
  3. Archaic. a small horse.
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Idioms
  1. ride a hobby, to concern oneself excessively with a favorite notion or activity.Also ride a hobbyhorse.
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Origin of hobby1

1325–75; Middle English hoby(n), probably for Robin, or Robert (cf. hob2), used as horse's name, as in dobbin
Related formshob·by·ist, nounhob·by·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hobbyist

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The moment you become a tradesman you cease to be a hobbyist.

  • Glaring down at the hobbyist, Stonecypher gripped the staff and rotated thick wrists outward.

    Thy Rocks and Rills

    Robert Ernest Gilbert

  • Dan's index finger failed to reach the trigger, for a guardian machine gun removed the hobbyist's head in a short efficient burst.

    Thy Rocks and Rills

    Robert Ernest Gilbert


British Dictionary definitions for hobbyist

hobby1

noun plural -bies
  1. an activity pursued in spare time for pleasure or relaxation
  2. archaic, or dialect a small horse or pony
  3. short for hobbyhorse (def. 1)
  4. an early form of bicycle, without pedals
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Derived Formshobbyist, noun

Word Origin

C14 hobyn, probably variant of proper name Robin; compare dobbin

hobby2

noun plural -bies
  1. any of several small Old World falcons, esp the European Falco subbuteo, formerly used in falconry
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French hobet, from hobe falcon; probably related to Middle Dutch hobbelen to roll, turn
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 hobbyist

n.

1830, from hobby + -ist. Hobbyism is recorded from 1846.

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hobby

n.

late 13c., hobyn, "small horse, pony," later "mock horse used in the morris dance," and c.1550 "child's toy riding horse," which led to hobby-horse in a transferred sense of "favorite pastime or avocation," first recorded 1670s, shortened to hobby by 1816. The connecting notion being "activity that doesn't go anywhere." Probably originally a proper name for a horse (cf. dobbin), a diminutive of Robert or Robin. The original hobbyhorse was a "Tourney Horse," a wooden or basketwork frame worn around the waist and held on with shoulder straps, with a fake tail and horse head attached, so the wearer appears to be riding a horse. These were part of church and civic celebrations at Midsummer and New Year's throughout England.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper