Definition of lob in US English:



  • 1with object and adverbial of direction Throw or hit (a ball or missile) in a high arc.

    ‘he lobbed the ball over their heads’
    • ‘I was a striker and the team just used to lob the ball over the top for me to chase.’
    • ‘These days people just seem to sit far away and lob missiles at each other.’
    • ‘You could have read the trademark on it when I lobbed the ball up to the plate.’
    • ‘They expected us to do no more than to lob a few cruise missiles at a meaningless target.’
    • ‘The red team should have just lobbed the ball over him at any opportunity.’
    • ‘As it was, he was caught in no-man's land as the Aberdeen striker lobbed the ball over him and into the undefended net.’
    • ‘We confidently rely on its theory and its data to send people to the moon, to lob missiles across oceans and to design thrill rides for amusement parks.’
    • ‘In 1996 China lobbed missiles near Taiwan during the island's first direct presidential election.’
    • ‘And then I shall start lobbing various projectiles at them.’
    • ‘Our leaders seem intent on lobbing cruise missiles like craps dice: gambling that the precise use of unprovoked force will effect peace.’
    • ‘Samuel made light work of this scoring opportunity as he lobbed the ball over an onrushing goalkeeper into the back of the net.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the green-and-white-clad morons began taunting the Thistle crowd, before lobbing missiles in their direction.’
    • ‘Indeed, cannonballs were regularly lobbed into the water from the three reconstructed forts.’
    • ‘First of all, 1996 was a bad year to be entering the army, because China was lobbing missiles, albeit unarmed, into the waters around Taiwan.’
    • ‘John was a great asset to us, just lob the ball into him there at full-forward, and he'd do the rest.’
    • ‘We lob cruise missiles and I am not critical of that, but I think that has been the attitude - well they are not going to respond.’
    • ‘In 1998, North Korea lobbed a ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean, claiming it was a satellite launch.’
    • ‘That would force the guys to really play shots and not just mindlessly lob the ball up in the air all the time.’
    • ‘Supporters of the system say it will defend against possible attempts by a rogue state to lob a missile at North America.’
    • ‘You're too close to the green to apply much backspin, yet too far away to lob the ball in as you would on a simple pitch.’
    throw, toss, fling, pitch, shy, hurl, pelt, sling, loft, cast, let fly with, flip
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    1. 1.1 (in tennis) hit the ball over (an opponent) in a high arc.
      • ‘It started when pat Morrissey shot a magnificent goal as he lobbed the keeper from the right side to leave the ball in the left corner of the net with a goal out of the blue.’
      • ‘A lovely ball through from Brian Pennington found Danny Harris who beat the offside trap to lob the advancing goalkeeper and put the home side two up.’
      • ‘It took Isaacs 25 minutes to get a grip on the game against Priory but they took the lead through a bullet header from Carl Youdall, who made it two after lobbing the keeper.’
      • ‘Earlier this season he was lobbed by an opposing keeper which cost Leicester City all three points.’
      • ‘Nestor made the game safe when he picked up a long ball and cleverly lobbed the Greyhound keeper to make it 4-2.’
      • ‘Ian Wilson levelled before half-time when he ran on to a through ball to lob the advancing keeper.’
      • ‘Kyle Hayton had already wasted one chance, heading wide at the back post before Kevin Dixon pulled a goal back, scoring his first goal for Town by lobbing keeper Mark Andrews from a tight angle.’
      • ‘He did however complete his hat trick right on the break when he latched onto a ball from Romario and lobbed the advancing keeper from the edge of the box.’
      • ‘A Kevin Jackson goal, lobbing the keeper after 67 minutes, gave York RI a 1-0 victory over Aberford Albion.’
      • ‘He chipped over the target while attempting to lob the keeper, and shot wide from two yards and over from three yards.’
      • ‘Yet one Coventry substitute, Bjarni Gudjonsson, soon created the equaliser for another, Suffo, who lobbed Price.’
      • ‘Don't have him running before he can walk, and don't have Darren hitting the back of the net from the half-way line before he can lob the keeper from 25 yards or hit the roof of a stand with a penalty.’
      • ‘A long ball over the top saw Shrimps' top scorer Carlton outpace the defence to lob home keeper John Kennedy with just six minutes remaining.’
      • ‘Rooney can do 40-yard passes or he can lob the goalkeeper from 40 yards.’
      • ‘With time running out, Ollie Wilson collected a through ball and lobbed the keeper to send the final to penalties.’
      • ‘Smith in the Ilkley goal had little to do and the home team should have taken the lead when Hall lobbed Dobson but the ball fell inches wide of the post.’
      • ‘In the second half it was Fenagh's Peter Ryan on the 38th minute scoring a goal after lobbing the goal-keeper.’
      • ‘They had got off to a dream start as Townson, on his return from suspension, outpaced the Exeter defence and coolly lobbed the keeper.’
      • ‘At the other end, Phillips latched onto Fernandes' chipped pass and lobbed Keller - only to see his effort bounce a foot wide.’
      • ‘He tries to lob the Spanish keeper - but he hasn't got the time, because he's out so quickly.’


  • (chiefly in tennis) a ball hit in a high arc over an opponent.

    • ‘Are you slogging out a long rally with an opponent who returns your lobs with a smash?’
    • ‘Before, you could stay between him and the basket, give up the jump shot and protect yourself against the lob or the drive.’
    • ‘Net-cords don't count, neither do drop shots, nor do approaches to finish short lobs.’
    • ‘In the fall, he dominated as a wide receiver on the football team, grabbing lobs over hapless defenders in the corner of the end zone.’
    • ‘In the slam of the night, D-Miles took the express elevator to the third floor to catch and jam a lob from Jeff McInnis on a fast break.’
    • ‘Two minutes later David Cooke scored the best goal of the game with a delightful lob from the edge of the area that left Danny Hurst helpless.’
    • ‘Eric had an exhilarating array of skills, back-heels, stylish flicks, turns and lobs combined with immaculate ball control and touch.’
    • ‘At the very least, they could have put in a position player to throw some lobs and let the game end somewhat respectfully.’
    • ‘Twice he failed to convert left wing crosses and then his lob over goalkeeper Malcolm Lottering hit the crossbar.’
    • ‘Olivera scored in the 23rd minute from outside the area with a lob which caught Atalanta goalkeeper Alex Calderoni out of position.’
    • ‘All that was left then was a deft lob over the advancing goalkeeper and the City goal machine had struck yet again.’
    • ‘Within seven minutes of the start Dalglish scored with a lob, striking the ball from the edge of the box without even looking up.’
    • ‘May twice scored by sealing his defender, catching a lob from Raymond Felton and converting a layup.’
    • ‘So he was forced to put the ball on the floor and shoot 8-and 10-footers rather than catch lobs from Cota.’
    • ‘Al's return shot was a weak lob at the net, a shot that could be put away with a big overhead smash, the way a Gonzales might finish off an opponent.’
    • ‘The high lobs were getting their big men easy shots or, at least, getting them to the foul line.’
    • ‘Swift will freelance around the baseline, looking for lobs and offensive rebounds while cutting to the free-throw line to park the 15-foot jumper.’
    • ‘After a second kick, Isaac Kungoane forced a save from goalkeeper Simon Gopane with an attempted lob.’
    • ‘His desperate opponent returns a weak shot or a lob, either of which he puts away with careless bravado.’
    • ‘A guy throws me a ball from second base, just a lob, and I missed it.’
    stroke, hit, strike
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Late 16th century (in the senses ‘cause or allow to hang heavily’ and ‘behave like a lout’): from the archaic noun lob ‘lout’, ‘pendulous object’, probably from Low German or Dutch (compare with modern Dutch lubbe ‘hanging lip’). The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.