Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An ugly, mischievous elf or goblin.
  • n. An object or a source of fear, dread, or harassment; a bugbear: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” ( Ralph Waldo Emerson).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small, ugly goblin that makes trouble for humans
  • n. A source of dread, fear or apprehension; a bugbear.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A frightful goblin; an imp; a bugaboo; also, a name formerly given to the household spirit, Robin Goodfellow.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A mischievous imp or sprite; an alarming apparition; hence, something that causes fear or disquiet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings
  • n. an object of dread or apprehension

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • You and me both, fer_k. Such a great comic!

    April 8, 2008

  • I can't read this word without remembering Order of the stick.

    September 30, 2007

  • "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    September 25, 2007

  • Such a glorious word - thanks, yarb!

    September 25, 2007