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[lob] /lɒb/
verb (used with object), lobbed, lobbing.
Tennis. to hit (a ball) in a high arc to the back of the opponent's court.
to fire (a missile, as a shell) in a high trajectory so that it drops onto a target.
Cricket. to bowl (the ball) with a slow underhand motion.
to throw (something) slowly in an arc.
verb (used without object), lobbed, lobbing.
Tennis. to lob a ball.
Tennis. a ball hit in a high arc to the back of the opponent's court.
Cricket. a ball bowled with a slow underhand motion.
British Dialect. a slow, heavy, dull-witted person.
Origin of lob1
1325-75; in earlier sense, to behave like a lob (Middle English lobbe, lob bumpkin, clumsy person, orig. pollack; Old English: spider; basic sense, something pendulous); cognate with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch lobbe dangling part, stockfish, etc.
Related forms
lobber, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lobbing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • lobbing shrapnel at grazing cows was always quite a favourite game with Brounckers.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Soon he was smoothly receiving the pitcher's curves and lobbing them back.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman Albert Walter Tolman
  • I am now quite envious of the accuracy of my lobbing in those days.

    Lawn Tennis for Ladies Mrs. Lambert Chambers
  • A third had gone down under a sabre-cut, but had staggered up and was lobbing after his comrades at a painful canter.

    The Adventures of Harry Revel Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Those Cinghalese lobbing about in the sun in dolce far niente, not doing a hand's turn all day.

    Ulysses James Joyce
British Dictionary definitions for lobbing


a ball struck in a high arc
(cricket) a ball bowled in a slow high arc
verb lobs, lobbing, lobbed
to hit or kick (a ball) in a high arc
(informal) to throw, esp in a high arc
Word Origin
C14: probably of Low German origin, originally in the sense: something dangling; compare Middle Low German lobbe hanging lower lip, Old English loppe spider


short for lobworm
Word Origin
C17 (in the sense: pendulous object): related to lob1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lobbing



"send up in a slow, high arc," 1824 (implied in lobbing), but the word existed 16c. in various senses suggesting heavy, pendant, or floppy things, and probably is ultimately from an unrecorded Old English word; cf. East Frisian lobbe "hanging lump of flesh," Dutch lob "hanging lip, ruffle, hanging sleeve," Danish lobbes "clown, bumpkin." Related: Lobbed; lobbing. The noun in this sense is from 1875, from the verb.


a word of widespread application to lumpish things, probably in Old English. Cf. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German lobbe, Old Norse lubba. From late 13c. as a surname; meaning "pollack" is from early 14c.; that of "lazy lout" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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