From earlier wabble (wobble), probably from Low German wabbeln (to wobble). Compare Dutch wiebelen and wobbelen (to wobble), Old Norse vafla (to hover about, totter).



wobble (plural wobbles)

  1. An unsteady motion.
    The fat man walked down the street with a wobble.
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3 - 3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      That should have been that, but Hart caught a dose of the Hennessey wobbles and spilled Adlene Guedioura's long-range shot.
    Synonyms: jiggle, quiver, shake, tremble
  2. A tremulous sound.
    There was a wobble on her high notes.
    Synonyms: quaver, tremble, tremolo, vibrato
  3. (music) A low-frequency oscillation sometimes used in dubstep
  4. (genetics) A variation in the third nucleotide of a codon that codes for a specific aminoacid



wobble (third-person singular simple present wobbles, present participle wobbling, simple past and past participle wobbled)

  1. (intransitive) To move with an uneven or rocking motion, or unsteadily to and fro.
    • 1982, Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything, page 24:
      The apparition wobbled in front of Arthur's eyes, though the truth of the matter is probably that Arthur's eyes were wobbling in front of the apparition. His mouth wobbled as well.
    • 2013 July 6, “The rise of smart beta”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8843, page 68:
      Investors face a quandary. Cash offers a return of virtually zero in many developed countries; government-bond yields may have risen in recent weeks but they are still unattractive. Equities have suffered two big bear markets since 2000 and are wobbling again. It is hardly surprising that pension funds, insurers and endowments are searching for new sources of return.
    the Earth wobbles slowly on its axis;  the jelly wobbled on the plate
    Synonyms: judder, shake, shudder, tremble
  2. (intransitive) To tremble or quaver.
    The soprano's voice wobbled alarmingly.
    Synonyms: quaver, quiver, tremble
  3. (intransitive) To vacillate in one's opinions.
    I'm wobbling between the Liberals and the Greens.
    Synonyms: falter, vacillate, waffle, waver
  4. (transitive) To cause to wobble.
    The boy wobbled the girl's bike.
    Synonyms: jiggle, rock, shake, wiggle

Derived termsEdit