- Folklore a goblin, fairy, etc.
- anything inspiring seemingly excessive fear or dread; bogy; bugbear
Origin of hobgoblinhob, sense + goblin
- An ugly, mischievous elf or goblin.
- An object or a source of fear, dread, or harassment; a bugbear: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” ( Ralph Waldo Emerson )