Definition of bobbin in English:



  • 1A cylinder or cone holding thread, yarn, or wire, used especially in weaving, machine sewing, and lacemaking.

    • ‘Match the upper thread color with the bobbin thread to help disguise stitch inconsistencies.’
    • ‘In a barn they found four men dismantling bobbins of yarn, packed with the Sovereign cigarettes.’
    • ‘Lace is created by looping and twisting threads using a set of bobbins or a needle.’
    • ‘Conveniently, there's a Fabricland at the mall across the street from my office, so I can go and buy all the necessary things like bobbins and thread and such.’
    • ‘Most readily available topstitching thread is polyester, so pair it with all-purpose polyester thread in the bobbin.’
    • ‘I removed the finished thread from the bobbin, and wound it into a big off-white ball.’
    • ‘Thread the machine needle with white thread and the bobbin with red thread.’
    • ‘Before releasing the animals, he attached to each one's back a bobbin of thread, one end of which was tied to the release mechanism.’
    • ‘Wind thicker threads on a bobbin by hand, use regular sewing thread in the needle, and stitch with the right side down.’
    • ‘She threw down the book and hurtled the bobbin of thread across the room.’
    • ‘I've remembered what it was… I was going to plug that sewing machine in and see if I could wind a bobbin.’
    • ‘Pull the basting bobbin threads to gather the skirt.’
    • ‘In days gone by I would have ordered the non-standard bobbins my sewing machine uses from his shop and got them in mere weeks.’
    • ‘For the bobbin, use either embroidery-weight bobbin thread or all-purpose sewing thread in a matching color.’
    • ‘Holding the needle thread tail, take a stitch to draw the bobbin thread to the tuck surface.’
    • ‘For the stretch stitch, use a polyester thread in the needle and a polyester or texturized nylon thread in the bobbin.’
    • ‘For example, if your machine has a frontloading bobbin, the flat side of the needle faces the back of the machine.’
    • ‘If the broken thread is the color of the bobbin thread, the upper tension is too loose.’
    • ‘Its job is to carry the top thread into the bobbin case so the stitch can be formed.’
    • ‘When creating a lace appliqué, use the same color thread in the bobbin and the needle.’
    1. 1.1A spool or reel.
      • ‘Let out just enough slack line from the reel so that the bobbin is suspended two to three inches below the rod.’
      • ‘The family room tree has a sewing theme, with spools, bobbins and buttons for ornaments.’


Mid 16th century: from French bobine, of unknown origin.