American English

Definition of hobby noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



(pl. hobbies)
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  an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working Her hobbies include swimming and gardening. I only play jazz as a hobby. Thesaurusinteresthobby pastimeThese are all words for activities that you do for pleasure in your spare time.interest an activity or a subject that you do or study for pleasure in your spare time:Her main interests are music and gardening.hobby an activity that you do for pleasure in your spare time:His hobbies include swimming and cooking.pastime an activity that people do for pleasure in their spare time:Eating out is the national pastime in France.interest, hobby, or pastime?A hobby is often more active than an interest:His main hobby is football (= he plays football). His main interest is football (= he watches and reads about football, and may or may not play it).Pastime is used when talking about people in general; when you are talking about yourself or an individual person it is more usual to use interest or hobby:Eating out is the national interest/hobby in France. Do you have any pastimes?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: hobby