Definition of hobgoblin in English:

hobgoblin

noun

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

    • ‘It was a time when witches did mischief while spiteful fairies and hobgoblins roamed about.’
    • ‘Though Mr McCallum does admit, and even provide evidence for, the existence of hobgoblins and faeries.’
    • ‘A group of hobgoblins emerged from behind him.’
    • ‘Gaffle turned round and stared at the oncoming horde of hobgoblins.’
    • ‘His creased brown skin throbbed with muscle, he was a hobgoblin, and failure was unacceptable in goblin society.’
    • ‘If people want to believe in tooth fairies, or leprechauns, or hobgoblins, or taniwha, or whatever, it is their right to do that.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘In England the hobgoblin was as helpful a sprite as the brownie.’
    • ‘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.’
    imp, sprite, goblin, elf, brownie, pixie, leprechaun, gnome, dwarf
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A fearsome mythical creature.
      • ‘By the time the hobgoblins and ghouls are out and about on the 31st it is rising less than four hours after sunset.’
      • ‘But I wasn't about to stand up to a rampaging bunch of hobgoblins anyway.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Imagination, then plays upon our fears when there is feeble light, making us see ghouls and hobgoblins in every shadow that moves.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from hob + goblin.

Pronunciation

hobgoblin

/ˈhɑbˌɡɑblən//ˈhäbˌɡäblən/