Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

bob1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (of a thing) make a quick short movement up and down.

    ‘I could see his red head bobbing around’
    ‘the boat bobbed up and down’
    • ‘There are boats bobbing about, little clouds over the mountains opposite.’
    • ‘She shook her head, her short blond locks bobbing around her head.’
    • ‘She rocked onto her toes and back onto her heels excitedly, her short brown ponytail bobbing as she did so.’
    • ‘Your hired motor boat is bobbing up and down at anchor, occasionally nudging the pebbles on the beach as a bigger wave breaks.’
    • ‘Farther along the wharf we find a small fleet of fishing boats bobbing in a slick of diesel, their grizzled crews eyeing us suspiciously.’
    • ‘Finally, it was time to go, and the scene was snapshot-pretty: a dozen boats bobbing on the glassy turquoise water of Coyote Bay.’
    • ‘You can read a book on one of the benches beside the water and watch swans bobbing around the boats in the marinas.’
    • ‘With each step her short, straight ponytail bobbed from side to side, dyed banana bread blonde with brown roots and lowlights.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Between the two establishments a whole armada of small boats bobbed about.’
    • ‘Everywhere you look, you see these cheerful fires, and you can see boats bobbing in the water too.’
    • ‘A small boat bobs in the distance, waiting to record our time.’
    • ‘Then finally, they broke ranks; their famous red hackles bobbing as they searched the crowd for family.’
    • ‘There are ancient looking hat-and-high-heels shops, there are little white boats bobbing in the water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His Adam's apple bobbed nervously in his short, thick throat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sun would be shimmering on the gently rolling waves and fishing boats would be bobbing in the water.’
    • ‘As we approached the jetty a speedboat whisked past sending our boat bobbing violently in its wake.’
    nod, incline, bow, dip, duck
    bounce, move up and down, float, spring, toss, skip, hop, dance, jump, jounce
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Cause (something) to make a quick short movement up and down.
      ‘she bobbed her head’
      • ‘And I just sit in the car taking in the music, bobbing my head and quietly singing along.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That man ferociously bobbing his head really seems to get it.’
      • ‘Part of this involves a treacherous visual gag where she has to bob her head at various speeds.’
      • ‘They began to bob their heads up and down from beneath the window like demented puppets.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To keep the native animal theme going, he was bobbing his head about like a rabid emu while singing this song.’
      • ‘The crowd of polite listeners, sitting pretty with their drinks in their hands, soon started bobbing their heads in sync.’
      • ‘You can't help but bob your shoulders and sway your hips to the raunchy jazz in this number!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The weather was perfect and hundreds of people turned out to see a 1000 yellow ducks bob their way down the canal.’
      • ‘The bird bobs its head, showing more interest in its surroundings than the man who sustains an unaffected stare.’
      • ‘Some people are content with bobbing their heads to whatever comes on the radio.’
      • ‘He keeps filming the milky-eyed and toothless bluehair as she bobs her head around, struggling to focus on who she's talking to.’
      • ‘Sekedar Cinta - the group's first single - is a hip tune that will have listeners bobbing their heads up and down.’
      • ‘An interesting waterfowl is the Common Gallinule, which looks like a swimming chicken, bobbing its head forward and back.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the commercial, nine-year-old boys are clustered around the oven, making faces and bobbing their heads along to the jingle.’
    2. 1.2Make a sudden move in a particular direction so as to appear or disappear.
      ‘a lady bobbed up from beneath the counter’
      • ‘She bobbed up, spluttering, only to flop back under.’
      • ‘James bobbed up first, treading water and grasping for a sizable slab of lumber.’
      • ‘So I got a seat in a non-smoker and bobbed up every now again for a cigarette.’
      • ‘Then the shock was over and her head bobbed up to the surface.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Birds bobbed up and down, up and down, disappearing and disappearing again.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Just before three quarter time I bobbed up at East Fremantle.’
      • ‘Lily's head bobbed up and down as she tried to get the man's attention, ‘Excuse me, sir?’’
      • ‘A few minutes later, Christian bobbed up to tell us we were drifting too far from the boat.’
      • ‘Something dark bobbed up in the water, and she stared hard.’
      • ‘As he tried to see the last of the city, Maditwet's figure bobbed up.’
      • ‘Deer with white rumps bounced over the road and bobbed up one flank and into conifers.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, an alien monster has bobbed up in Hong Kong harbour.’
      • ‘She sighed irritably when no one presented either of these, but even as she did, Jacqueline's head bobbed up from the gun deck.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A brown head bobbed up from beneath a pile of displaced couch cushions, then a body, and a hand holding a sketching pad.’
      • ‘No matter what they did she bobbed up again, fiery, fearless, clouting to the left and the right with her wit.’
      • ‘As he bobbed up beside me, I noticed that his carrier was a noble Prince in royal garb.’
    3. 1.3Move up and down briefly in a curtsy.
      • ‘She gripped tightly on her pinafore, creasing it more than any lady would have approved of, and bobbed into a curtsy.’

noun

  • 1A 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    nod, inclination, bow, dip, duck
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      another term for bobber
    2. 1.2A curtsy.
      • ‘‘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.

      • ‘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?’
      • ‘They bob and weave and move and that's what they're doing.’
      • ‘He can bob and weave, but he becomes dangerous when he is backed into a corner.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This way, boxers could bob and weave out of the way of incoming punches.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • bob for apples

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's bobbing for apples in the Great Hall and a game of Web of Fate taking place in the ballroom shortly.’
      • ‘But I suggest you move in slowly, rather than just diving in like you're bobbing for apples.’
      • ‘I take it that he won't want to bob for apples, then.’
      • ‘Maybe we'll organize a Halloween party as well, complete with bobbing for apples.’
      • ‘Another well-known Halloween custom, bobbing for apples, is associated with Bran and resonates both with this and later Irish stories.’
      • ‘All went well until we started bobbing for apples.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was like watching someone try to bob for apples while wearing a motorcycle helmet.’
      • ‘Many games are associated with Hallowe'en, such as the now popular bobbing for apples.’

Origin

Late Middle English: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

bob

/bäb/

Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

bob2

noun

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

    • ‘My skin is peachy-tan, and I have ginger hair that is styled into a bob so I look like a flapper.’
    • ‘He then created the two-strand twists and cut the hair into a stacked bob.’
    • ‘Greene then created this choppy bob by razor-cutting the hair into asymmetrical sides, supershort bangs and a cropped back.’
    • ‘But she looked the same, elegant and sophisticated, with a short bob of black hair and big baby blue eyes.’
    • ‘I've had my hair cut from just above my waist to a short bob and it looks really thick and bushy.’
    • ‘Miss Hall was white, slim, 5ft 5in tall, with two protruding front teeth and recently dyed red hair cut in a bob.’
    • ‘She was a lively young lady, with a head of sandy blond hair shortly cropped into a bob style.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was short, like in a bob hair cut, and her face seemed to tell a whole new different story.’
    • ‘Turn to the word ‘hair’ and one can see illustrations of various ‘hair styles’, like French plait, bob, crew cut and so on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her luscious curly black hair, a bob above her ears, had been dyed green.’
    • ‘Suddenly, a girl with her blonde hair cut in a short bob cut and a round face came running out of the salon.’
    • ‘Latasha Arnt appeared before the court in a black pantsuit and sandals, her hair in a crimped 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Linda Evangelista had the shortest hair with a bob to the bottom of her neck.’
    • ‘Now 50, Atkinson looks much younger, with her hair cut in a fashionable 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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2A weight on a pendulum, plumb line, or kite-tail.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Measure the length of the string and then tap the bob to set the pendulum in motion.’
    • ‘For a classical pendulum, that is when the bob is at rest and at the bottom.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Usually, you'll find a nut at the end of the pendulum bob.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When a bullet is fired its momentum is transferred to the bob and can be determined from the amplitude of the pendulum.’
  • 3A bobsled.

    • ‘If we sent the skaters down the bob run, there would be no politics, no guessing, no favors exchanged.’
  • 4A short line at or near the end of a stanza.

  • 5A horse's tail docked short.

verb

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

    ‘she tied a headscarf over her bobbed brown hair’
    • ‘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 has brown, bobbed, naturally-curly hair which had been highlighted but was, she thought, ‘too stripy’.’
    • ‘She is wearing a black dressing gown with a pretty picture of a butterfly, her hair is immaculate and bobbed.’
    • ‘She had blonde hair bobbed to her chin, and a cute face.’
    • ‘My hair was bobbed because of my ailment and fear shot through me when some boys teased me.’
    • ‘He walked into the STAR this week, hair of curls neatly bobbed.’
    • ‘Irene had also introduced bobbed hair and staying skinny to the world of fashion.’
    • ‘Cora shook her head and her shoulder length, naturally curly brown hair bobbed in the slight wind.’
    • ‘She had dramatic silver bobbed hair and red lipstick.’
    • ‘She pulled the straw out and twisted her helmet off, revealing a teenage girl with round glasses, bobbed brown hair and bright smiling eyes.’
    • ‘At the party is her friend Camille, who is wearing a lime green velvet asymmetrical toga-type arrangement, to match her asymmetrically bobbed hair.’
    • ‘Her black hair was bobbed, and hung level with her chin, a style unheard of at the time.’
    • ‘With blonde bobbed hair, smart trouser suit, fashionable glasses and delicate diamond ear-rings, she could pass muster at any PR firm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He points to a young woman in coed clothes and straight, black, bobbed hair.’
    • ‘She is younger then, the trademark dark hair bobbed rather than cropped, the intelligent, dark eyes serious and intense.’
    • ‘The women had bobbed hair, and they were smoking.’
    • ‘Emily, when I last saw her, was very short and had brown hair that was bobbed at her chin.’
    • ‘Marya shook her head, her neatly bobbed dark hair brushing against high cheekbones.’
    • ‘Her eyes were so pale in the light; her fashionably bobbed and curled hair was a dark frame from her too pale face.’
  • 2[no object] Ride on a bobsled.

    • ‘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

/bäb/

Main definitions of bob in English

: bob1bob2bob3bob4

bob3

noun

British
informal
  • 1A shilling.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was given two bob to have one shilling each way on Dawros.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1Used with reference to a moderately large but unspecified amount of money.
      ‘those vases are worth a few bob’
      • ‘After this season, they might be worth a bob or two as a memorial souvenir.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It may be worth a few bob in years to come, but that was not the reason I bought it.’
      • ‘They were large displays and had cost quite a bob, but my wife only got a brief glimpse of them.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

Late 18th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

bob

/bäb/

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’
      ‘bob minor’
      • ‘I must try and understand ‘hunting’ and get a proper plain bob going.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

bob

/bäb/