Main definitions of hob in English

: hob1hob2

hob1

noun

  • 1A flat metal shelf at the side or back of a fireplace, having its surface level with the top of the grate and used especially for heating pans.

    • ‘It began to respond to the demands of Britain's burgeoning towns and cities for cast iron - for rainwater goods, street furniture, fireplaces, hobs and grates and all manner of other items.’
    • ‘Inside the original rafters and walls are adorned by two splendid hobs over a fireplace.’
    • ‘In Granny Kilpatrick's cookhouse stood a great black stove and all the pots sat around on the big white hobs.’
    1. 1.1British A cooking appliance, or the flat top part of a stove, with hotplates or burners.
  • 2A machine tool used for cutting gears or screw threads.

    • ‘Once you have used a hob to cut a gear you will wonder why you would use anything else!’
    • ‘The hob is composed of cutter blades and a hob head.’

Origin

Late 16th century: alteration of hub. hob, metal shelf by a fireplace dates from the late 17th century.

Pronunciation:

hob

/häb/

Main definitions of hob in English

: hob1hob2

hob2

noun

  • 1A male ferret.

    Compare with gill
    • ‘She should be in full season for 2 weeks before being put with a hob.’
    • ‘Hobs are usually bigger than jills but the personalities vary little between the sexes.’
  • 2archaic, dialect A sprite or hobgoblin.

    • ‘It has been the haunt of the mischievous, mythical hobs.’
    • ‘During the festival, local residents and businesses will take part in a competition to decorate their homes, gardens and shop fronts with home made boggarts, wood spirits, elves, hobs and faeries.’

Phrases

  • play (or raise) hob

    • Cause mischief.

      • ‘The cost of diverting waste can play hob with a private company's bottom line or a community's operating budget.’
      • ‘Digital cell phones have raised hob with hearing aids through electromagnetic interference.’
      • ‘The pavement raises hob with them and seems to impart a grade of dirt which defies removal.’
      • ‘But there's a non-obvious one, which is to say that it plays hob with my writing schedule, or at least it tries to.’
      • ‘A combination of intense travel and poor health have played hob with my schedule.’
      • ‘The wind raised hob, blew the door shut after him leaving our worthy president locked in the cellar.’
      • ‘They aren't going to be setting up camp for a weekend and raising hob with 15 of their good buddies.’
      • ‘The internal politics of getting things done has played hob with their scheduling.’
      • ‘The three-year recession and the constant lowering of interest rates to fight it are raising hob with pension funds.’
      • ‘Even more fun - fructose plays hob with the enzymes that ‘tell’ cells whether to burn fat or store it.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense country fellow): nickname for Rob, short for Robin or Robert, often referring specifically to Robin Goodfellow.

Pronunciation:

hob

/häb/