or wab·bly


adjective, wob·bli·er, wob·bli·est.

shaky; unsteady.

Origin of wobbly

First recorded in 1850–55; wobble + -y1
Related formswob·bli·ness, noun



noun, plural Wob·blies.

a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Origin of Wobbly

An Americanism dating back to 1910–15; of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wobbly

Contemporary Examples of wobbly

Historical Examples of wobbly

  • Nor was there gelatine in stock, with which to make a gay-colored, wobbly jelly.

  • "Go on explaining," said Margery, rocking herself in the now wobbly chair.

    Once a Week

    Alan Alexander Milne

  • But the trip's just as wobbly as ever for me, riding up here on your shoulder.

    Starman's Quest

    Robert Silverberg

  • Good-night, said I, going to him to take his hand, for he was too wobbly to have met me halfway.

  • He felt sick and weak, as helpless as a blind and wobbly pup.

    The Fighting Edge

    William MacLeod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for wobbly


adjective -blier or -bliest

trembling, shaking


throw a wobbly slang to become suddenly very agitated or angry
Derived Formswobbliness, noun


noun plural -blies

a member of the Industrial Workers of the World
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 wobbly



1914, member of Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.). Probably some sort of elaboration of the W aspect of the acronym.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper