Definition of wobble in English:


Line breaks: wob¦ble
Pronunciation: /ˈwɒb(ə)l


  • 1Move or cause to move unsteadily from side to side: [no object]: the table wobbles where the leg is too short [with object]: enthusiastic thumping may wobble the lectern
    More example sentences
    • He pushed to the side, legs wobbling, and his hands found the door.
    • It then started wobbling from side to side and he became frightened.
    • My legs wobbled slightly, just adjusting to the floor beneath my feet.
    rock, move unsteadily, jiggle, sway, see-saw, teeter; shake, vibrate
  • 1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move unsteadily in a particular direction: they wobble around on their bikes
    More example sentences
    • But it's wobbling in the direction of the same package leisure industry which gave us the gym.
    • The little animal then staggered, wobbled and limped around for a few seconds before turning for the last time to his rescuers and wandering off back into nature.
    • I walked straight up towards Brandon, who wobbled down the hall in the opposite direction.
    teeter, totter, stagger, walk unsteadily, lurch
  • 1.2 [no object] (Of the voice) vary slightly in pitch; quaver: her voice wobbled dangerously, but she brought it under control
    More example sentences
    • ‘You cannot harm us,’ said the priestess of Elle, though her hands shook and her voice wobbled as well.
    • She met his eyes, her voice wobbled and she was shaking.
    • So we're given the impression of Connor's leg shaking and his voice wobbling.
    tremble, shake, quiver, quaver, waver
    rare quave
  • 1.3 [no object] Waver between different courses of action; vacillate: he is beginning to wobble on the issue
    More example sentences
    • He has wavered, wobbled, and wiggled about the war since it began.
    • It is therefore odd to watch him waver and wobble over an issue that is not only outrageously unjust, but also flagrantly illegal.
    waver, hesitate, vacillate, dither, shilly-shally, be undecided, be uncertain, be indecisive, be unable to make up one's mind, keep changing one's mind, yo-yo; Scottish swither
    informal blow hot and cold


Back to top  
  • 1An unsteady movement from side to side: the handlebars developed a wobble
    More example sentences
    • Milutin M. Milankovich, a Serbian mathematician, developed the idea that the Earth's rotational wobbles and orbital deviations have combined to affect in a cyclic way global climatic changes.
    • Georgia, which placed third last year, had a few wobbles on balance beam in the final rotation but held on to second place.
    • It was built on the track of an elephant trail and it was so rough that it rattled our bones and sent the radio antenna into a series of harmonic wobbles.
    unsteady movement, totter, teeter, sway; rocking, swaying, shaking
  • 1.1A variation of pitch in the voice: a caricature of the operatic wobble
    More example sentences
    • The high notes are no longer there, everything below mezzo-forte is weak, and the stability of the voice betrayed by occasional wobbles.
    • Far more troubling is the fearsome wobble in her voice that she only occasionally brings under control.
    • With a slight wobble in his voice, he said his prostate cancer had spread to other parts of his body.
  • 1.2A moment of indecision or instability: the only serious wobble of the campaign
    More example sentences
    • It's cheering to find that Cole & Son, maker of wallpaper and paint since 1873, is not only back in business after a serious wobble in the late 1990s but is working flat out to meet demand.
    • These normally nuanced characters briefly became vessels for issue-based polemic rather than wry, subtle dialogue - and even to unequivocal admirers, this is a serious wobble.
    • It has to be said that the wobbles have abated considerably over the past two weeks.


mid 17th century (earlier as wabble): of Germanic origin; compare with Old Norse vafla 'waver'; related to the verb wave.

More definitions of wobble

Definition of wobble in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space