Hobson's choice

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - Hobson's Choice

"Hobson's choice"

a situation in which there appears to be a choice when, actually, there is none at all


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - Hobson's Choice

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  The boss has just asked me to stay late.

Colleague 2:  That is a Hobson's choice.

Colleague 1:  What do you mean?

Colleague 2:  Do you really have a choice?  If you do not stay late, then there will be no chance of promotion or raises or even keeping your job in the future. So you really do not have a choice but to stay late.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - Hobson's Choice

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  The property manager of my apartment building has just told me that either I have to move or get rid of my cat.

Friend 2:  But you love your cat. You rescued her from an animal shelter and have been best friends for years.

Friend 1:  So it is a Hobson's choice. I will move.

Hobson's choice - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   140   click for frequency by country

Hobson's choice - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for Hobson's choice.

Hobson's choice - Examples:

1)  States to retrieve and disclose electronic communications stored abroad, and put them to the Hobson's choice of violating either United States or foreign law. 

2)  ... no one capable of leading the UNP, therefore Ranil Wickramasinghe is UNP's Hobson's choice as its leader.

3)  ... making a fuss about democratic deficits then offer them Hobson's choice when the deal is so near completion that no realistic alternative is feasible.

4)  ... eliminate pain but allowed him sit comfortably. However he felt he was faced with Hobson's Choice given the side effects he experienced which included severe constipation, dizziness, ...

5)  Sometimes they are even initiated by government officials, who offer companies the Hobson's choice of coming up with a" voluntary" solution or submitting to government ...

6)  ... with no other option except borrowing from external sources. Borrowing as Hobson's choice.

7)  ... a year before we could move back into it. Faced with a Hobson's choice of losing money reselling a wreck or investing a fortune doing it up ...

8)  ... negotiate the best possible deal for the Island. Our councillors are now looking at Hobson's choice -- take it or leave it -- when they might have been looking ...

9)  ... the tout wasn't there for charity -- he demanded Rs 300. Given a Hobson's choice, Lal had to agree.

10)  In fact, Americans were faced with a dual Hobson's choice. Head or tail was still bad choice.

11)  Boys all over the world face the Hobson's choice question: "If your mother and your wife fell into a river ...

12)  Hobson's choice: Go ahead with controversial contract or cancel order and pay compensation ...

13)  Last week six open-ended property funds did this while another presented investors with an unenviable Hobson's choice -- accept a lock-in or sell your holding at a 17pc discount.

14)  Homelessness may be a choice sometimes, but it's a Hobson's choice.

15)  We do not have to be boxed in by this Hobson's choice moment of Evil No. 1 or Slightly Less Evil No. 2.

16)  Arbitrator, among other things, found that the hospital policy "resembles an unacceptable Hobson's choice" and was coercive. An abuse of managerial power is bullying ...

17)  ... wishes of millions of ordinary Germans and giving them no moderate alternative, only a Hobson's choice between different shades of ...

18)  For many Republicans this will more and more seem like a Hobson's choice, which is no choice at all.

19)  A true Hobson's Choice -- neither is acceptable.

20)  However, I believe the Government of India was confronted with a Hobson's choice. It did not have many options.