Definition of hobnail in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhäbnāl/


1A short heavy-headed nail used to reinforce the soles of boots.
Example sentences
  • When Douglas Hadow's boots were examined, it was found that the hobnails on their soles were worn almost smooth.
  • Adults had hobnailed shoes, but hobnails were not found with children so they were bare-foot or wore un-nailed shoes.
  • Of the other material categories, footwear is as likely to be absent as present - although without hobnails and suitable conditions for preservation, we cannot be certain about frequency.
1.1A blunt projection, especially in cut or molded glassware.
Example sentences
  • Although particularly heavy, the bowl has a dainty design with a distinctive star-shaped base and a wealth of intricate engravings - various sunbursts panels are divided by parallel prisms from hobnail diamond panels.
1.2Glass decorated with blunt projections.



Pronunciation: /ˈhäbˌnāld/
Example sentences
  • In winter they wore layers and layers of clothing and hobnailed boots to keep warm.
  • A century ago, mountains were climbed in hobnailed boots with stafflike ice axes, footsteps laboriously cut all the way to the top.
  • Didn't Mother frequently complain about how and why he must wear hobnailed boots, such was the racket he made early in the morning?


Late 16th century: from hob1 + nail.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hob·nail

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