from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An ugly, mischievous elf or goblin.
  • noun An object or a source of fear, dread, or harassment; a bugbear.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Such a glorious word - thanks, yarb!

    September 25, 2007

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

    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    September 25, 2007

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

    September 30, 2007

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

    April 8, 2008