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or wabble

[wob-uh l] /ˈwɒb əl/
verb (used without object), wobbled, wobbling.
to incline to one side and to the other alternately, as a wheel, top, or other rotating body when not properly balanced.
to move unsteadily from side to side:
The table wobbled on its uneven legs.
to show unsteadiness; tremble; quaver:
His voice wobbled.
to vacillate; waver.
verb (used with object), wobbled, wobbling.
to cause to wobble.
a wobbling movement.
Origin of wobble
1650-60; < Low German wabbeln; akin to Old Norse vafla to toddle, Middle High German wabelen to waver, Old English wæflian to speak incoherently
Related forms
wobbler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wobble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The tree was steady at first, but it soon began to wobble again.

    Combed Out Fritz August Voigt
  • But when he had got away from him, his mind began to wobble.

    The Borough Treasurer Joseph Smith Fletcher
  • The answer is that in all probability, and in spite of every care, the wheel will wobble enough to give clearance.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • But it burned like fury once it hit my stomach and my mind began to wobble.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • The hook was suspended by a chain and the bait seemed to wobble rather than spin.

  • A trout would not wobble and tug in that sullen, carthorse manner.

    Lines in Pleasant Places William Senior
  • Most men come up in such a hurry that they wobble all over the place.

British Dictionary definitions for wobble


(intransitive) to move, rock, or sway unsteadily
(intransitive) to tremble or shake: her voice wobbled with emotion
(intransitive) to vacillate with indecision
(transitive) to cause to wobble
a wobbling movement, motion, or sound
Also called wabble
Derived Forms
wobbler, noun
Word Origin
C17: variant of wabble, from Low German wabbeln; related to Middle High German wabelen to waver
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 wobble

1650s, probably from Low German wabbeln "to wobble;" cognate with Old Norse vafla "hover about, totter," related to vafra "move unsteadily," from Proto-Germanic *wab- "to move back and forth" (see waver). The noun is attested from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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wobble in Medicine

wobble wob·ble (wŏb'əl)

  1. A movement or rotation with an uneven or rocking motion or an unsteady motion from side to side.

  2. The ability of one tRNA anticodon to recognize two mRNA codons, as in the third base of a tRNA anticodon pairing with any of a variety of bases that occupy the third position of different mRNA codons instead of pairing according to base pairing rules.

wob'bler n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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