Definition of hobnob in US English:


verbhobnobs, hobnobbing, hobnobbed

[no object]informal
  • Mix socially, especially with those of higher social status.

    ‘a select few who hobnob with the biggest celebrities the country has to offer’
    • ‘After a period of voluntary unemployment he finds work at Aldermaston, hobnobbing with geniuses who could blow up the world if they felt so inclined.’
    • ‘Eventually, he became a marketing manager for Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, where he hobnobbed with celebrities and organized regular concerts.’
    • ‘It looks like the kids and I are going shopping tonight while my spouse is out hobnobbing at the bar with his co-workers.’
    • ‘Did you think that you were perhaps hobnobbing with the future president?’
    • ‘The speeches are on TV, and while it's nice to hobnob with your political heroes, what does it really bring to the table.’
    • ‘He can't sit still, flitting from place to place around the globe to make speeches and hobnob with celebrities.’
    • ‘While occasionally posturing as a friend of the working man, Kelly climbed the social ladder and hobnobbed with the rich and powerful.’
    • ‘A president who used VIP status to hobnob with movie stars would be laughed out of office.’
    • ‘Since their fall, hobnobbing with the great and the good is a thing of the past, perhaps.’
    • ‘It's not about hobnobbing with sports superstars and entertaining celebrities in the Owner's Box.’
    • ‘When not hobnobbing in Washington, Roussel is working on a career memoir.’
    • ‘If you think being a Rock and Roll photographer involves hobnobbing with the rich and famous, spending afternoons sailing and meeting musicians most people only dream of - then you're right.’
    • ‘Evidently, the secondary exposure to Hollywood through this man, who hobnobs with the greats there every week, had left his audience singularly untouched.’
    • ‘But living in the lap of luxury was not a good thing for an artist, although hobnobbing with the movers and shakers she met through her husband had other advantages, such as a number of US commissions that came her way.’
    • ‘He drove a company Jaguar, had a $10,000 stereo system in his office and jetted around the region to hobnob with recording stars and entertainment executives.’
    • ‘Lately for me, it's been all about hobnobbing with former stars.’
    • ‘Last May the press also reported that he had hobnobbed with a well-known gangster at a wedding at which he was the guest of honor.’
    • ‘With the arrival of the festival, my social profile has improved immeasurably and I have already been to two fun parties where I hobnobbed with actual celebrities while slugging copious quantities of warm white wine.’
    • ‘He hobnobbed with the elite, and among his friends was a mathematician who made a startling discovery.’
    blend, mingle, combine, put together, stir, jumble, merge
    associate, mix, fraternize, socialize, go around, keep company, spend time, mingle, consort, rub shoulders
    View synonyms


Early 19th century (in the sense ‘drink together’): from archaic hob or nob, hob and nob, probably meaning ‘give and take’, used by two people drinking to each other's health, from dialect hab nab ‘have or not have’.