- to pat or tap gently, as with something soft or moist: The child dabbed his eyes with the handkerchief.
- to apply (a substance) by light strokes: He dabbed the ointment on the rash.
- to strike, especially lightly, as with the hand.
- to consume (cannabis) by inhaling the vapor of heated cannabis extract oil.
- Masonry. to dress (stonework) with a pointed tool.
- Western U.S. to throw (a rope or line) in an effort to lasso or catch something: Joe dabbed his rope on the steer.
- to strike lightly; make a dab; pat: She dabbed at the stain on her dress.
- to consume cannabis by inhaling the vapor of heated cannabis extract oil. She dabs for a more intense high.
- a quick or light blow; a pat, as with the hand or something soft.
- a small moist lump or mass: a dab of butter.
- a small quantity: a dab of powder.
- a dose of cannabis extract oil.
- a dance move that involves posing with one’s nose in the crook of a bent elbow at chest level while extending the other arm to the side at or above shoulder level, often performed as a celebratory posture in sports or other competitions.
Origin of dab1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- any of several flatfishes of the genus Limanda, especially the European flatfish, L. limanda.
Origin of dab2
- Also called dab hand. a person skilled in something; an expert.
- an excellent or extraordinary person or thing.
- expert; excellent; extraordinary.
Origin of dab3
- Dictionary of American Biography.
Examples from the Web for dab
Dab says the truth—however frightening it may be—ultimately will keep people calm.Europe’s Hidden Ebola Cases
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 15, 2014
Recently, at a pot-centered radio program, someone offered me a “dab” of butane honey oil (BHO)—a concentrated form of cannabis.Hey Buddy, Wanna Dab? Inside The Mainstream Explosion of Cannabis Concentrates
Valerie Vande Panne
December 21, 2013
Williams raised the end of a white hospital sheet to dab at the tears tricking down from behind his dark glasses.Strangers Rally to Help Blind Man Keep His Guide Dog
December 19, 2013
Perspiration is a crucial ingredient, but even a dab of it will do you proud.What the Stars Predict for Your Week
Starsky + Cox
August 20, 2011
"It's my own hair, Jenny Walters," said Dab, almost savagely.
But a dab of varnish, a touch of gilding here and there, was all that was necessary.Chance
She was rubbing distressfully at a dab of rouge on her cheek.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
The candle has been lighted and stuck with a dab of grease on the ledge.Stories of the Saints by Candle-Light
Vera C. Barclay
They dab a splotch of sheep-dip on the place and go right ahead.Following the Equator, Complete
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
- to touch lightly and quickly
- (tr) to daub with short tapping strokesto dab the wall with paint
- (tr) to apply (paint, cream, etc) with short tapping strokes
- a small amount, esp of something soft or moista dab of ink
- a small light stroke or tap, as with the hand
- (often plural) mainly British a slang word for fingerprint
- a small common European brown flatfish, Limanda limanda, covered with rough toothed scales: family Pleuronectidae: a food fish
- (often plural) any of various other small flatfish, esp floundersCompare sand dab
- Also called: patiki a sand flounder, Rhombosolea plebia, common around New Zealand's South Island
- British informal See dab hand
- digital audio broadcasting
Word Origin and History for dab
c.1300, dabben "to strike," of unknown origin, perhaps imitative. Modern sense of "strike with a slight, quick pressure" developed by mid-16c., influenced by French dauber (see daub). Related: Dabbed; dabbing. As a noun from c.1300, "heavy blow with a weapon." Dab hand is British slang, 1828, from dab "expert" (1690s), said to be school slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from dab in the "strike lightly" sense.