Definition of goblin in English:



  • A mischievous, ugly, dwarf-like creature of folklore.

    • ‘There is a group of elves or goblins or aliens or something who show up as I'm drifting off.’
    • ‘On Friday, Halloween was again on everyone's minds and even the odd goblin or ghoul turned up to spend the day with them!’
    • ‘Such are the dangers at a time when ghosts and goblins are not the only things scaring American voters.’
    • ‘You see, even though the last goblin died, evil still found hold in weak creatures.’
    • ‘And the dumb goblins, ghouls, and vampires try to take our home from us, so we also have to steal charms and such.’
    • ‘The mean dwellings of gnomes and goblins came into view, as well as armed camps dotted with small fires.’
    • ‘Elves and men and gnomes and goblins alike looked about in fear and confusion.’
    • ‘Nor are they any on goblins, elves, hobbits and powerful rings that make one disappear.’
    • ‘I wanted to show people that Halloween can be a lot more than simply ghosts and goblins.’
    • ‘He had the image of himself, like a goblin or ghost, haunting her gravesite for weeks, vainly trying to protect her.’
    • ‘Better to just give someone a goblin in jar and let them get on with it.’
    • ‘I see an intrepid adventurer plodding blindly through a world of booby traps, goblins, jesters and dragons.’
    • ‘Home to a wacky wizard, it's a gothic mansion packed to the rafters with mischievous goblins and no-good ghosts.’
    • ‘The rock structures in Arches range from giant fists to little goblins.’
    • ‘In the back of the cavern goblins and demons poured in and out in a chaotic flow through many winding tunnels.’
    • ‘The other angle I read into this is that of the child-abduction by goblins and fairies in the tales of yore and of today.’
    • ‘The two elves approached the last goblin, still stuck to the ground, from both sides.’
    • ‘All of a sudden an army of goblins and dwarfs started marching towards them.’
    • ‘It was the target of many attacks by orcs, ogres, trolls, goblins, and the list goes on.’
    • ‘Thus all of the cultures of the world have stories of unknown beings such as ghosts, goblins, and alien life.’
    hobgoblin, gnome, dwarf, troll, imp, elf, sprite, brownie, fairy, pixie
    leprechaun, pooka
    bugbear, hob
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French gobelin, possibly related to German Kobold (see kobold) or to Greek kobalos mischievous goblin. In medieval Latin Gobelinus occurs as the name of a mischievous spirit, said to haunt Évreux in northern France in the 12th century.