1. A small pin, or cylinder, formerly of bone, now most commonly of wood, used in the making of pillow lace. Each thread is wound on a separate bobbin which hangs down holding the thread at a slight tension.
2. A spool or reel of various material and construction, with a head at one or both ends, and sometimes with a hole bored through its length by which it may be placed on a spindle or pivot. It is used to hold yarn or thread, as in spinning or warping machines, looms, sewing machines, etc.
3. The little rounded piece of wood, at the end of a latch string, which is pulled to raise the latch.
4. A fine cord or narrow braid.
5. (Science: physics) a cylindrical or spool-shaped coil or insulated wire, usually containing a core of soft iron which becomes magnetic when the wire is traversed by an electrical current. Bobbin and fly frame, a roving machine. Bobbin lace, lace made on a pillow with bobbins; pillow lace.
Origin: f. Bobine; of uncertain origin; cf. L. Bombus a humming, from the noise it makes, or ir. & gael. Baban tassel, or E. Bob.