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A horse, especially a working farm horse.

[From Dobbin, alteration of Robin, nickname for Robert.]


1. a name for a horse, esp a workhorse, often used in children's tales, etc
2. (Agriculture) NZ a trolley for moving loose wool in a woolshed or shearing shed
[C16: from Robin, pet form of Robert]


(ˈdɒb ɪn)

a horse, esp. a quiet, plodding horse for farm work or family use.
[1590–1600; alter. of Robin, hypocoristic form of Robert]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dobbin - a quiet plodding workhorsedobbin - a quiet plodding workhorse    
workhorse - a horse used for plowing and hauling and other heavy labor
References in classic literature ?
A dreadful day it was for young Dobbin when one of the youngsters of the school, having run into the town upon a poaching excursion for hardbake and polonies, espied the cart of Dobbin & Rudge, Grocers and Oilmen, Thames Street, London, at the Doctor's door, discharging a cargo of the wares in which the firm dealt.
Your father's only a merchant, Osborne," Dobbin said in private to the little boy who had brought down the storm upon him.
Now, William Dobbin, from an incapacity to acquire the rudiments of the above language, as they are propounded in that wonderful book the Eton Latin Grammar, was compelled to remain among the very last of Doctor Swishtail's scholars, and was "taken down" continually by little fellows with pink faces and pinafores when he marched up with the lower form, a giant amongst them, with his downcast, stupefied look, his dog's-eared primer, and his tight corduroys.
Don't call names," Dobbin said, getting off the bench very nervous.
Put down the letter," Dobbin replied; "no gentleman readth letterth.
Cuff, on a sunshiny afternoon, was in the neighbourhood of poor William Dobbin, who was lying under a tree in the playground, spelling over a favourite copy of the Arabian Nights which he had apart from the rest of the school, who were pursuing their various sports--quite lonely, and almost happy.
Well, William Dobbin had for once forgotten the world, and was away with Sindbad the Sailor in the Valley of Diamonds, or with Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Peribanou in that delightful cavern where the Prince found her, and whither we should all like to make a tour; when shrill cries, as of a little fellow weeping, woke up his pleasant reverie; and looking up, he saw Cuff before him, belabouring a little boy.
Dobbin quivered, and gathered himself up in his narrow old clothes.
Dobbins, had reached middle age with an unsatisfied ambition.
Well, of course I ain't going to tell old Dobbins on this little fool, because there's other ways of getting even on her, that ain't so mean; but what of it?
Dobbins straightened himself up, yawn- ed, then unlocked his desk, and reached for his book, but seemed undecided whether to take it out or leave it.
Dobbins had ever administered; and also received with indifference the added cruelty of a command to remain two hours after school should be dismissed -- for he knew who would wait for him outside till his captivity was done, and not count the tedious time as loss, either.