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[nob-uh l] /ˈnɒb əl/
verb (used with object), nobbled, nobbling. British Slang.
to drug or disable (a race horse) to prevent its winning a race.
to convince (a person) by fraudulent methods; misrepresent or lie to.
to swindle; defraud.
to seize (a person); hold for arrest.
Origin of nobble
1840-50; back formation from nobbler, variant of hobbler (dial. phrase an 'obbler being taken as a nobbler)
Related forms
nobbler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nobbler
Historical Examples
  • Footnote 5: nobbler--the Australian term for a glass of wine or spirits.

    Grif B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • Then come to my tent, and I'll give you a nobbler that may make you.

    Stingaree E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • If you meet an old friend, his first greeting is, 'Come and have a nobbler!'

    Town Life in Australia R. E. N. (Richard) Twopeny
  • I say, Lane, fetch me a nobbler of brandy; a stiffener, mind.

    The Book of the Bush George Dunderdale
  • It is no more so absolute a necessity to take a nobbler as it was ten years ago.

    Town Life in Australia R. E. N. (Richard) Twopeny
  • If it is a warm day, you must have a nobbler to quench your thirst; if it is freezing, to keep the cold out.

    Town Life in Australia R. E. N. (Richard) Twopeny
  • And you call that drop a nobbler, do you, in the old country?

    My Lord Duke E. W. Hornung
  • Between every act it is the custom of the audience to rush out for a nobbler of brandy.

    The Magnificent Montez Horace Wyndham
  • The nobbler was poured out of a gallon jar, under Vanheimert's nose, by the light of a candle which he held himself.

    Stingaree E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • All Hindoos indulge in sweets, which take the place of beer with us; instead of a 'nobbler,' they offer you a 'lollipop.'

British Dictionary definitions for nobbler


verb (transitive) (Brit, slang)
to disable (a racehorse), esp with drugs
to win over or outwit (a person) by underhand means
to suborn (a person, esp a juror) by threats, bribery, etc
to steal; filch
to get hold of; grab
to kidnap
Derived Forms
nobbler, noun
Word Origin
C19: back formation from nobbler, from false division of an hobbler (one who hobbles horses) as a nobbler
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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Slang definitions & phrases for nobbler



A person who drugs a racehorse or racing dog or otherwise tries to fix the outcome of a race •Chiefly British: the nobblers who drugged dogs

[1854+; origin unknown; perhaps fr hobble, ''make lame,'' by the same interesting variation that gives Hob and Nob as nicknames for Robert]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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