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

  • n. A mechanical part in a loom that controls the harnesses so as to permit weaving of small geometric figures.
  • n. A small geometric figure woven into fabric.
  • n. A fabric with such figures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device in some looms that allows the weaving of small, geometric patterns
  • n. The patterns so woven, or the fabric containing the patterns

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An apparatus resembling a Jacquard for weaving small figures (usually about 12 - 16 threads, seldom more than 36 - 40 threads).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fool; a childish old man.
  • n. A sprite or apparition.
  • n. Same as dobby-machine.


Perhaps from Dobbie, diminutive of Dob, alteration of Rob, nickname for Robert.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • dob·by /ˈdɒbi/ –noun, plural -bies.
    1. A house elf once belonging to Draco Malfoy, and soonafter Harry Potter. Owned a sock.
    2. The first, and probably last, free elf.
    b. Dobby died being awesome (Here lies Dobby, a free elf.)
    c. Dobby rulz

    October 22, 2008

  • a fool, a silly old man, also a kind of spirit. North.The dobbies seem to be similar to Scottish Brownies. They are well described by Washington Irving in his Bracebridge Hall, ed. 1822.
    _A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, Obsolete Phrases, Proverbs and Ancient Customs, by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillips, 1881

    February 26, 2008