One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in mythology and fairy stories) a mischievous imp or sprite.
imp, sprite, goblin, elf, brownie, pixie, leprechaun, gnome, dwarfView synonyms
- ‘It was a time when witches did mischief while spiteful fairies and hobgoblins roamed about.’
- ‘A group of hobgoblins emerged from behind him.’
- ‘It is a time when the very mention of witches, gnomes, hobgoblins and ogres is enough to conjure up a fantasy world populated with a multitude of such creatures.’
- ‘It is so lovely to view the sweet innocence of the ghouls and hobgoblins who visit our thresholds, calling out ‘trick or treat’, often accompanied by imaginative verse of their own making.’
- ‘In England the hobgoblin was as helpful a sprite as the brownie.’
- ‘Though Mr McCallum does admit, and even provide evidence for, the existence of hobgoblins and faeries.’
- ‘A romantic historical account, it told of a hobgoblin, the ugliest of his maligned kindred but valorous of heart, who fell in love with a beautiful princess of Ilnumin, one of the fallen cities of the moon elves of the Elven Age.’
- ‘If people want to believe in tooth fairies, or leprechauns, or hobgoblins, or taniwha, or whatever, it is their right to do that.’
- ‘His creased brown skin throbbed with muscle, he was a hobgoblin, and failure was unacceptable in goblin society.’
- ‘Gaffle turned round and stared at the oncoming horde of hobgoblins.’
- 1.1 A fearsome mythical creature.
- ‘But I wasn't about to stand up to a rampaging bunch of hobgoblins anyway.’
- ‘By the time the hobgoblins and ghouls are out and about on the 31st it is rising less than four hours after sunset.’
- ‘Imagination, then plays upon our fears when there is feeble light, making us see ghouls and hobgoblins in every shadow that moves.’
- ‘In his childhood Martin was afraid of the dark, of ghosts and hobgoblins, and his fear of attack by the threatening unknown later came to surface in his art.’
Mid 16th century: from hob + goblin.
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