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[dab-er] /ˈdæb ər/
a person or thing that dabs.
a cushionlike article used for applying ink, as by printers and engravers.
Origin of dabber
First recorded in 1780-90; dab1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dabber
Historical Examples
  • This forms a dabber, and should have something to hold it by.

    Paper and Printing Recipes J. Sawtelle Ford
  • When it is not available the dabber must be employed in the old manner.

    A Treatise on Etching Maxime Lalanne
  • The dabber not only equalizes the distribution of the varnish, but also removes what is superfluous.

    A Treatise on Etching Maxime Lalanne
  • A sheet of damp paper was laid on it and the back of the paper was carefully rubbed with a dabber or burnisher.

    Books Before Typography Frederick W. Hamilton
  • Clay of the desired thickness is then rolled out as described and applied to the mould and dabbed flat with a sponge or dabber.

  • To equalize the ground a dabber was used, which was made of cotton-wool under horsehair, the whole inclosed in silk.

  • Then try it by bringing down the dabber upon a clean sheet of paper with a smart blow.

  • Some engravers prefer the dabber to the roller even for regrounding entire plates.

    A Treatise on Etching Maxime Lalanne
  • The chafing-dish and the ball (or dabber) are now replaced by the gas flame and the inking-roller in most printing establishments.

    A Treatise on Etching Maxime Lalanne
  • But if you desire to do your own proving, you will have to use a dabber, the manner of making which is described in the next note.

    A Treatise on Etching Maxime Lalanne
British Dictionary definitions for dabber


a pad used by printers for applying ink by hand
a felt-tip pen with a very broad writing point, used especially by bingo players to cancel numbers on their cards
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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