Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

bob1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Make a quick, short movement up and down.

    ‘I could see his head bobbing about’
    ‘the boat bobbed up and down’
    • ‘You can read a book on one of the benches beside the water and watch swans bobbing around the boats in the marinas.’
    • ‘Everywhere you look, you see these cheerful fires, and you can see boats bobbing in the water too.’
    • ‘She rocked onto her toes and back onto her heels excitedly, her short brown ponytail bobbing as she did so.’
    • ‘Despite the gloom of the grey mist around us, with our boats and their bodies bobbing about on a still, glassy sea, the experience could not have been more perfect.’
    • ‘Your hired motor boat is bobbing up and down at anchor, occasionally nudging the pebbles on the beach as a bigger wave breaks.’
    • ‘His Adam's apple bobbed nervously in his short, thick throat.’
    • ‘Between the two establishments a whole armada of small boats bobbed about.’
    • ‘As we approached the jetty a speedboat whisked past sending our boat bobbing violently in its wake.’
    • ‘There are ancient looking hat-and-high-heels shops, there are little white boats bobbing in the water.’
    • ‘With the sun glistening on the small village bay and boats bobbing on the water, the backdrop is reminiscent of a scene from a tourist brochure.’
    • ‘Farther along the wharf we find a small fleet of fishing boats bobbing in a slick of diesel, their grizzled crews eyeing us suspiciously.’
    • ‘With each step her short, straight ponytail bobbed from side to side, dyed banana bread blonde with brown roots and lowlights.’
    • ‘Then finally, they broke ranks; their famous red hackles bobbing as they searched the crowd for family.’
    • ‘Visibility isn't the point since it's often lousy and if you get seasick all those boats bobbing about in the harbour can make you pretty miserable.’
    • ‘There are boats bobbing about, little clouds over the mountains opposite.’
    • ‘The sun would be shimmering on the gently rolling waves and fishing boats would be bobbing in the water.’
    • ‘A small boat bobs in the distance, waiting to record our time.’
    • ‘Finally, it was time to go, and the scene was snapshot-pretty: a dozen boats bobbing on the glassy turquoise water of Coyote Bay.’
    • ‘She shook her head, her short blond locks bobbing around her head.’
    • ‘We tied up on a jetty on Havelock Island with blue boats bobbing in its bay and rising hills, covered in forests, as a background.’
    bounce, move up and down, float, spring, toss, skip, hop, dance, jump, jounce
    nod, incline, bow, dip, duck
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Cause (something) to make a bobbing movement.
      ‘she bobbed her head’
      • ‘I worked in a Connecticut boatyard, where my workmates used to tease me about it but they couldn't physically do the eyebrow act without bobbing their heads.’
      • ‘As Taj sang and strummed his big guitar, kids as young as five and as old as 17 were bobbing their heads to the rhythms of the blues.’
      • ‘He keeps filming the milky-eyed and toothless bluehair as she bobs her head around, struggling to focus on who she's talking to.’
      • ‘They began to bob their heads up and down from beneath the window like demented puppets.’
      • ‘The crowd of polite listeners, sitting pretty with their drinks in their hands, soon started bobbing their heads in sync.’
      • ‘Some people are content with bobbing their heads to whatever comes on the radio.’
      • ‘To keep the native animal theme going, he was bobbing his head about like a rabid emu while singing this song.’
      • ‘You can't help but bob your shoulders and sway your hips to the raunchy jazz in this number!’
      • ‘And I just sit in the car taking in the music, bobbing my head and quietly singing along.’
      • ‘Part of this involves a treacherous visual gag where she has to bob her head at various speeds.’
      • ‘An interesting waterfowl is the Common Gallinule, which looks like a swimming chicken, bobbing its head forward and back.’
      • ‘The weather was perfect and hundreds of people turned out to see a 1000 yellow ducks bob their way down the canal.’
      • ‘That man ferociously bobbing his head really seems to get it.’
      • ‘Sekedar Cinta - the group's first single - is a hip tune that will have listeners bobbing their heads up and down.’
      • ‘You'll understand once you find yourself hunched over the liner notes, devoutly mumbling the lyrics to yourself and bobbing your head to the bursts of pseudo-Russian choruses.’
      • ‘In the commercial, nine-year-old boys are clustered around the oven, making faces and bobbing their heads along to the jingle.’
      • ‘The beat is so pounding and persuasive, it's impossible not to do a strange little stamping dance, bobbing your head back and forth like an inquisitive chicken.’
      • ‘Wearing anything from period costume to Lycra leggings, the teams also have to perform tasks such as scoffing a piece of cake or bobbing an apple at various points.’
      • ‘The bird bobs its head, showing more interest in its surroundings than the man who sustains an unaffected stare.’
      • ‘Enjoy a hip-hop experience that will have you bobbing your head, tapping your toes, and most importantly, won't leave you feeling cheap and used the next morning.’
    2. 1.2[no object, with adverbial of direction]Make a sudden move so as to appear or disappear.
      ‘a lady bobbed up from beneath the counter’
      • ‘St Johnstone, who had bobbed up a bit from the bottom, had not pulled away in their last couple of fixtures either, having lost to Celtic and more controversially Hearts in midweek.’
      • ‘Birds bobbed up and down, up and down, disappearing and disappearing again.’
      • ‘Deer with white rumps bounced over the road and bobbed up one flank and into conifers.’
      • ‘As he tried to see the last of the city, Maditwet's figure bobbed up.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, an alien monster has bobbed up in Hong Kong harbour.’
      • ‘A brown head bobbed up from beneath a pile of displaced couch cushions, then a body, and a hand holding a sketching pad.’
      • ‘As he bobbed up beside me, I noticed that his carrier was a noble Prince in royal garb.’
      • ‘She bobbed up, spluttering, only to flop back under.’
      • ‘So I reached in, and touched the seahorse's head, and she didn't move, so I held the seahorse's head, and she bobbed up into my hand like a rubber toy.’
      • ‘Something dark bobbed up in the water, and she stared hard.’
      • ‘A few minutes later, Christian bobbed up to tell us we were drifting too far from the boat.’
      • ‘Then the shock was over and her head bobbed up to the surface.’
      • ‘No matter what they did she bobbed up again, fiery, fearless, clouting to the left and the right with her wit.’
      • ‘Lily's head bobbed up and down as she tried to get the man's attention, ‘Excuse me, sir?’’
      • ‘Just before three quarter time I bobbed up at East Fremantle.’
      • ‘So I got a seat in a non-smoker and bobbed up every now again for a cigarette.’
      • ‘She sighed irritably when no one presented either of these, but even as she did, Jacqueline's head bobbed up from the gun deck.’
      • ‘It is the Mosler MT900, and if you are wondering where this manufacturer bobbed up from, it is a hobby company owned by millionaire inventor Warren Mosler.’
      • ‘The reason this classic jacket has bobbed up again into high fashion is entirely due to the work of the young French designer Nicholas Ghesquiere of Balenciaga.’
      • ‘James bobbed up first, treading water and grasping for a sizable slab of lumber.’
    3. 1.3[no object]Make a brief curtsy.
      ‘she bobbed and turned away’
      • ‘She swept out of the room, and the maid, after bobbing in a curtsy, followed.’

noun

  • 1A quick, short movement up and down.

    ‘she could only manage a slight bob of her head’
    • ‘Her mistress gave a slight bob of her head, and she began bustling about, stirring up the fire.’
    • ‘The stout gentleman half rose from his chair and gave a bob of greeting, with a quick little questioning glance from his small, fat-encircled eyes.’
    • ‘Unlike Garrett's bewildered reaction, Clara only gave a slight bob of her head to acknowledge him.’
    • ‘With a quick bob of her tongue she span back around and marched down the corridor, opening the classroom door by magic without even realising she had done it.’
    nod, inclination, bow, dip, duck
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A brief curtsy.
      ‘the maid scurried away with a bob’
      • ‘‘Excuse me, my lady, but my lady Kei said for me to bring Nichole here to you for a bit,’ said Lela with a slight bob to signify a curtsey.’

Phrases

  • bob and weave

    • Make rapid bodily movements up and down and from side to side, for example as an evasive tactic by a boxer.

      ‘Freddie bobbed and weaved, jabbing the air’
      • ‘He can bob and weave, but he becomes dangerous when he is backed into a corner.’
      • ‘Larry, we watch these little things bob and weave all the time.’
      • ‘It won't kill you, this labyrinthine bob and weave through the trials of a young post-structuralist-turned - biographer.’
      • ‘In a radical departure he used hand-held cameras that bob and weave in an attempt to capture the frenetic energy of the Beijing cityscape.’
      • ‘This way, boxers could bob and weave out of the way of incoming punches.’
      • ‘They bob and weave and move and that's what they're doing.’
      • ‘I'm not surprised that Senators - especially Senators who want to satisfy a largely Republican constituency yet maintain favorable press attention - will bob and weave like this.’
      • ‘But if somebody continues to bob and weave and duck and evade and you've only got seven or eight minutes for the interview, a politician can get away with that, can't he?’
      • ‘As someone who stood on a curbside box in the innocent 1950s to witness my first Macy's parade, I have never completely lost that long-ago wonder at seeing giant cartoon figures bob and weave amid the skyscrapers.’
  • bob for apples

    • Try to catch floating or hanging apples with one's mouth alone, as a game.

      • ‘I take it that he won't want to bob for apples, then.’
      • ‘It was like watching someone try to bob for apples while wearing a motorcycle helmet.’
      • ‘As the howl subsides, he collapses upon me like a child bobbing for apples and buries his teeth into my chest, right above the heart.’
      • ‘If you're not bobbing for apples, you're hollowing out pumpkins; and if you're not putting daft expressions on gourds, you're splashing fake blood on your children and sending them out into the dead of night to beg for sweets.’
      • ‘Another well-known Halloween custom, bobbing for apples, is associated with Bran and resonates both with this and later Irish stories.’
      • ‘There's bobbing for apples in the Great Hall and a game of Web of Fate taking place in the ballroom shortly.’
      • ‘Many games are associated with Hallowe'en, such as the now popular bobbing for apples.’
      • ‘All went well until we started bobbing for apples.’
      • ‘But I suggest you move in slowly, rather than just diving in like you're bobbing for apples.’
      • ‘Maybe we'll organize a Halloween party as well, complete with bobbing for apples.’

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

bob

/bɒb/

Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

bob2

noun

  • 1A style in which the hair is cut short and evenly all round so that it hangs above the shoulders.

    ‘she wore her hair in a fashionable bob’
    • ‘Her normal shape of manifestation was that of a slender, short woman with snowy hair cut quite short in a page-boy bob and an ageless, lovely face.’
    • ‘Latasha Arnt appeared before the court in a black pantsuit and sandals, her hair in a crimped bob.’
    • ‘Miss Hall was white, slim, 5ft 5in tall, with two protruding front teeth and recently dyed red hair cut in a bob.’
    • ‘A couple years ago she hacked all her long, beautiful black hair off into a bob with chocolate colored highlights that she managed to just pull off.’
    • ‘Linda Evangelista had the shortest hair with a bob to the bottom of her neck.’
    • ‘My skin is peachy-tan, and I have ginger hair that is styled into a bob so I look like a flapper.’
    • ‘Turn to the word ‘hair’ and one can see illustrations of various ‘hair styles’, like French plait, bob, crew cut and so on.’
    • ‘Her hairstyle was a bob; very short in the back and very long in the front, angled slightly to meet with the sturdy line of hair that fell just above her eyes.’
    • ‘Now 50, Atkinson looks much younger, with her hair cut in a fashionable bob.’
    • ‘He went to the bookshelf and removed the album and sat down at the kitchen table he opened to the page of her with the bob hair cut.’
    • ‘But she looked the same, elegant and sophisticated, with a short bob of black hair and big baby blue eyes.’
    • ‘Suddenly, a girl with her blonde hair cut in a short bob cut and a round face came running out of the salon.’
    • ‘She had auburn hair styled in a bob cut, gentle, hazel eyes, and the greatest smile that had ever graced any thin, yet soft face.’
    • ‘I've had my hair cut from just above my waist to a short bob and it looks really thick and bushy.’
    • ‘Greene then created this choppy bob by razor-cutting the hair into asymmetrical sides, supershort bangs and a cropped back.’
    • ‘Her luscious curly black hair, a bob above her ears, had been dyed green.’
    • ‘He then created the two-strand twists and cut the hair into a stacked bob.’
    • ‘She was a lively young lady, with a head of sandy blond hair shortly cropped into a bob style.’
    • ‘James produced this look by trimming and shaping the model's chemically relaxed hair into a layered bob that can be worn spiky or sleek.’
    • ‘It was short, like in a bob hair cut, and her face seemed to tell a whole new different story.’
  • 2A weight on a pendulum, plumb line, or kite-tail.

    • ‘Measure the length of the string and then tap the bob to set the pendulum in motion.’
    • ‘The relationship between the masses of the replica pendulum bobs and the mass of the overall platform was roughly the same, and the clocks' periods were also comparable.’
    • ‘The functioning of a key depends on its rigidity whilst that of clocks and watches depend crucially on the weight of pendulum bobs or the elasticity of springs.’
    • ‘For a classical pendulum, that is when the bob is at rest and at the bottom.’
    • ‘Newton showed that after appropriate corrections are made for air resistance, action and reaction are equal regardless of whether the pendulum bobs are composed of steel, glass, cork, or wool.’
    • ‘The long, thin string and the heavy bob will enable the pendulum to swing unencumbered for hours and hours and hours.’
    • ‘He handed each of us a little toy pendulum with a retractable bob.’
    • ‘Usually, you'll find a nut at the end of the pendulum bob.’
    • ‘The mechanism has needed little repair in 220 years - except for a notable occasion 30 years ago when time stood still after the bob on the end of the pendulum became detached and dropped into the pit.’
    • ‘Of course, once the shape of the tautochrone had been determined, the problem of forcing a pendulum bob to oscillate along such a curve remained.’
    • ‘In fact there are only three things to it: the length of the string, the weight of the bob, and the size of the swing.’
    • ‘What seizes our attention is the spring that is programmed to move counter-clockwise along the rim of the pendulum's circular bob, against the conventional motion of time.’
    • ‘When a bullet is fired its momentum is transferred to the bob and can be determined from the amplitude of the pendulum.’
  • 3A bobsleigh.

    • ‘A sport that seems certain to capture the public imagination over the next Winter Olympic fortnight is the bob skeleton.’
    • ‘In the bob skeleton event, competitors travel on a sled on their stomach, head first down a track.’
  • 4A short line at or towards the end of a stanza.

verb

  • 1[with object] Cut (someone's hair) in a bob.

    ‘she tied a headscarf over her bobbed brown hair’
    • ‘At the party is her friend Camille, who is wearing a lime green velvet asymmetrical toga-type arrangement, to match her asymmetrically bobbed hair.’
    • ‘With blonde bobbed hair, smart trouser suit, fashionable glasses and delicate diamond ear-rings, she could pass muster at any PR firm.’
    • ‘She is younger then, the trademark dark hair bobbed rather than cropped, the intelligent, dark eyes serious and intense.’
    • ‘She had dramatic silver bobbed hair and red lipstick.’
    • ‘He points to a young woman in coed clothes and straight, black, bobbed hair.’
    • ‘Cora shook her head and her shoulder length, naturally curly brown hair bobbed in the slight wind.’
    • ‘The women had bobbed hair, and they were smoking.’
    • ‘This was true in part because bobbed hair was immediately favoured by women in the ‘world's oldest profession’ due to its ease of care.’
    • ‘Irene had also introduced bobbed hair and staying skinny to the world of fashion.’
    • ‘She had bobbed hair, and it was something about the short, dark and straight hair that struck me with a picture in my mind that I couldn't place.’
    • ‘She pulled the straw out and twisted her helmet off, revealing a teenage girl with round glasses, bobbed brown hair and bright smiling eyes.’
    • ‘Emily, when I last saw her, was very short and had brown hair that was bobbed at her chin.’
    • ‘He walked into the STAR this week, hair of curls neatly bobbed.’
    • ‘My hair was bobbed because of my ailment and fear shot through me when some boys teased me.’
    • ‘Her eyes were so pale in the light; her fashionably bobbed and curled hair was a dark frame from her too pale face.’
    • ‘Her black hair was bobbed, and hung level with her chin, a style unheard of at the time.’
    • ‘She is wearing a black dressing gown with a pretty picture of a butterfly, her hair is immaculate and bobbed.’
    • ‘Marya shook her head, her neatly bobbed dark hair brushing against high cheekbones.’
    • ‘She had blonde hair bobbed to her chin, and a cute face.’
    • ‘She has brown, bobbed, naturally-curly hair which had been highlighted but was, she thought, ‘too stripy’.’
  • 2[no object] Ride on a bobsleigh.

    • ‘Initially, though, people came to the Alps for their health, for skating, for bobbing, for being seen and - only marginally - for skiing.’

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a bunch or cluster): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

bob

/bɒb/

Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

bob3

noun

British
informal
  • 1A shilling.

    • ‘And the players all went to work the following day, with perhaps a hangover or two, but without a rewarding bob (sorry, euro) in their pockets.’
    • ‘Robinson should invest in a few bob on the Euro lottery.’
    • ‘Now 72, his first taste of the life was as a boy when he'd earn ‘two bob or a shilling’ for helping out various traders until nine o'clock at night.’
    • ‘Looks like the penny has finally dropped regarding the possibilities of earning a bob or two over the web, without the inconvenience of flying all over the place.’
    • ‘I was given two bob to have one shilling each way on Dawros.’
    1. 1.1Used with reference to a moderately large but unspecified amount of money.
      ‘those vases are worth a few bob’
      • ‘They were large displays and had cost quite a bob, but my wife only got a brief glimpse of them.’
      • ‘It may be worth a few bob in years to come, but that was not the reason I bought it.’
      • ‘Hopefully it will be a great season and fingers crossed we might make a few bob over the coming season, no matter slight the chances.’
      • ‘You'll find a lot of beer cans, unless you can tune out aluminium, but you'll pick up an interesting selection of lost property and a few bob in coins.’
      • ‘After this season, they might be worth a bob or two as a memorial souvenir.’

Origin

Late 18th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

bob

/bɒb/

Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

bob4

noun

  • 1A change of order in bell-ringing.

    • ‘This table illustrates how you will be affected if the conductor calls a Bob or Single.’
    1. 1.1Used in names of change-ringing methods.
      ‘plain bob’
      • ‘In this session we will be looking at the calling positions in Plain Bob Doubles and other doubles methods and we will deal with the fundamental effect of bobs on the coursing order which underpins the whole of what comes later.’
      • ‘I must try and understand ‘hunting’ and get a proper plain bob going.’

Origin

Late 17th century: perhaps connected with bob in the sense ‘sudden movement up and down’.

Pronunciation:

bob

/bɒb/

Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

BOB

  • Bolivian boliviano(s).

Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

Bob

noun

British
informal
  • Used to express the ease with which a task can be achieved.

    ‘fill in the form, and Bob's your uncle’
    • ‘Seal off the victims, get out the test tubes, work out a recipe for some injection that will kill the virus and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Put together a couple of kitchen fitments, buy a coffee machine and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Indeed, they are just down the stairs, negotiate the drop-off layby, cross the road and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘It should not come as a surprise - after all, it's a simple case of keying in a few addresses, pressing the ‘forward’ button, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Boot from floppy, select " Install from FTP’ and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘To build a block of flats, you simply slot the modules together in whatever arrangement you or your architect like, slap some cladding on the outside (red cedar, please, not concrete, this is the 21st century) - and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Press Enter once you've made your selection, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘You'd be discovered and your throat slit quicker than you can say Bob's your uncle!’
    • ‘A hushed call was placed and Bob's your uncle - there I was at the desk holding my first official chart in trembling hands.’
    • ‘Sure, it's only a matter of keeping the head down, stroking through the ball, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘So it's still possible to steal a mobile phone, change the simcard inside it, rebirth the mobile phone as it were, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Switch your credit card balance to a provider offering 0% interest for balance transfers for the first 6 months, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Ignore the dialog box about ports, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘You don't even have to think about it, just stick a finger in, give it a wiggle, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Just be sure to talk at least once in class, compliment him on his tie once a week, and Bob's your uncle!’
    • ‘And since we already know that he's taken quite a fancy for you, he'll snap you up, Laurel'll see, and Bob's your uncle!’
    • ‘You use a little hand-held shuttle and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘Give up your worldly wealth for heavenly reward, and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘A little cut and paste from the electronic archives and Bob's your uncle.’
    • ‘You take any random word, preferably BAYBEE, chant it a few hundred times whilst repeatedly thumping any handy hard surface, record it with some techno tweaking, and Bob's your uncle.’

Origin

1930s: pet form of the given name Robert.

Pronunciation:

Bob

/bɒb/