bobbin

A bobbin is the part of a sewing machine on which the lower thread is wound. The machine makes a stitch by catching the bottom thread, from the bobbin, with the top thread, from the needle.

Most bobbins are wound with thread and inserted in sewing machines, but the word describes many spools and cylinders that hold string, yarn, wire, or other materials. Some machines contain bobbins, wound with wire or tape, and a weaver or knitter often works with a yarn bobbin close at hand. Bobbin comes from the French bobine, "small instrument used in sewing," which shares a Latin root with babble, for the sound it makes while unspooling.

Definitions of bobbin
  1. noun
    a cylinder around which thread or tape or film or other flexible materials can be wound
    synonyms: reel, spool
    see moresee less
    types:
    filature
    a bobbin used in spinning silk into thread
    shuttle
    bobbin that passes the weft thread between the warp threads
    type of:
    winder
    mechanical device around which something can be wound
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week