Definition of hobgoblin in English:

hobgoblin

noun

  • 1(in mythology and fairy tales) a mischievous imp or sprite.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gaffle turned round and stared at the oncoming horde of hobgoblins.’
    • ‘If people want to believe in tooth fairies, or leprechauns, or hobgoblins, or taniwha, or whatever, it is their right to do that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A group of hobgoblins emerged from behind him.’
    • ‘Though Mr McCallum does admit, and even provide evidence for, the existence of hobgoblins and faeries.’
    • ‘It was a time when witches did mischief while spiteful fairies and hobgoblins roamed about.’
    • ‘In England the hobgoblin was as helpful a sprite as the brownie.’
    • ‘His creased brown skin throbbed with muscle, he was a hobgoblin, and failure was unacceptable in goblin society.’
    imp, sprite, goblin, elf, brownie, pixie, leprechaun, gnome, dwarf
    bogey, bogeyman, troll, evil spirit
    kelpie
    hob, nix, nixie, elfin
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A fearsome mythical creature.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But I wasn't about to stand up to a rampaging bunch of hobgoblins anyway.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from hob + goblin.

Pronunciation:

hobgoblin

/ˈhäbˌɡäblən/