hobgoblin


Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

hob·gob·lin

 (hŏb′gŏb′lĭn)
n.
1. An ugly, mischievous elf or goblin.
2. An object or a source of fear, dread, or harassment; a bugbear: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hobgoblin

(ˌhɒbˈɡɒblɪn)
n
1. (European Myth & Legend) an evil or mischievous goblin
2. (European Myth & Legend) a bogey; bugbear
[C16: from hob2 + goblin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

hob•gob•lin

(ˈhɒbˌgɒb lɪn)

n.
1. something causing superstitious fear; bogy.
2. a mischievous goblin.
[1520–30; hob2 + goblin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hobgoblin - (folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beingshobgoblin - (folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings
folklore - the unwritten lore (stories and proverbs and riddles and songs) of a culture
evil spirit - a spirit tending to cause harm
2.hobgoblin - an object of dread or apprehension; "Germany was always a bugbear for France"; "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"--Ralph Waldo Emerson
object - the focus of cognitions or feelings; "objects of thought"; "the object of my affection"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations

hobgoblin

[ˈhɒbˌgɒblɪn] Nduende m, trasgo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

hobgoblin

nKobold m, → Butzemann m; (= bogey)schwarzer Mann, Butzemann m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
So, the three hobgoblins, having effaced all traces of their feast, and swept up the crumbs, came out of Mincing Lane to walk to Holloway; and if two of the hobgoblins didn't wish the distance twice as long as it was, the third hobgoblin was much mistaken.
The robbers, who had been not a little frightened by the opening concert, had now no doubt that some frightful hobgoblin had broken in upon them, and scampered away as fast as they could.
Help this rascal to set up the coach," sai the hobgoblin to me; then, with a terrific screech at three countrymen at a distance, "Here, you fellows, ain't you ashamed to stand off when a poor woman is in distress?"
Some few persons I have met by chance, and sent them home heartily frighted, as from the oddness of my dress and figure they took me for a ghost or a hobgoblin. But what has happened to-night shows that even here I cannot be safe from the villany of men; for without your assistance I had not only been robbed, but very probably murdered."
Without waiting for a further invitation I bolted up the winding runway which led to the second floor, and entering a great chamber at the front of the building was greeted by the frenzied Woola, who threw his great carcass upon me, nearly hurling me to the floor; the poor old fellow was so glad to see me that I thought he would devour me, his head split from ear to ear, showing his three rows of tusks in his hobgoblin smile.
'It is a pretty, bewitching little demd countenance, and it should not be out of humour, for it spoils its loveliness, and makes it cross and gloomy like a frightful, naughty, demd hobgoblin.'
For I am and always have been one of those natures who must be guided by reason, whatever the reason may be which upon reflection appears to me to be the best; and now that this chance has befallen me, I cannot repudiate my own words: the principles which I have hitherto honoured and revered I still honour, and unless we can at once find other and better principles, I am certain not to agree with you; no, not even if the power of the multitude could inflict many more imprisonments, confiscations, deaths, frightening us like children with hobgoblin terrors (compare Apol.).
I confess I was more moved at their stupidity and brutish worship of a hobgoblin than ever I was at anything in my life, and, overcome with rage, I rode up to the hideous idol, and with my sword made a stroke at the bonnet that was on its head, and cut it in two; and one of our men that was with me, taking hold of the sheepskin that covered it, pulled at it, when, behold, a most hideous outcry ran through the village, and two or three hundred people came about my ears, so that I was glad to scour for it, for some had bows and arrows; but I resolved from that moment to visit them again.
Enlivened by his brightening prospects, he began to caper about the kitchen like a hobgoblin, with the queerest antics of his lean limbs, and gesticulations of his starved features.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
"Do you know how much money there is in that thing?" he asked, as if addressing slowly some hobgoblin sitting between the ears of the horse.
I can assure you that this hobgoblin of yours is a deuced fine-looking fellow -- admirably dressed.