• synonyms


See more synonyms for hobgoblin on Thesaurus.com
  1. something causing superstitious fear; a bogy.
  2. a mischievous goblin.
  3. (initial capital letter) Puck(def 1).
Show More

Origin of hobgoblin

First recorded in 1520–30; hob2 + goblin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hobgoblin

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I hardly know what sort of creature or hobgoblin to call them.

    The Gorgon's Head

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Why, Clifton, you imagine that he's a hobgoblin—a sort of wild child of the Highlands.

  • The colonel eyed the wreck of the hobgoblin with satisfaction.

    The Rival Campers Ashore

    Ruel Perley Smith

  • I am not a hobgoblin, though I may pose as one now and then.

    Fernley House

    Laura E. Richards

  • It was really a fish; but it was also a hobgoblin, nightmare, and ooze-croaker!

    The Fall of the Year

    Dallas Lore Sharp

British Dictionary definitions for hobgoblin


  1. an evil or mischievous goblin
  2. a bogey; bugbear
Show More

Word Origin

C16: from hob ² + goblin
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 hobgoblin


1520s, from hob "elf," from Hobbe, a variant of Rob (cf. Hick for Richard, Hodge for Rodger, etc.), short for Robin Goodfellow, elf character in German folklore, + goblin.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper