- to play and splash in or as if in water, especially with the hands.
- to work at anything in an irregular or superficial manner: to dabble in literature.
- (of a duck) to feed on shallow-water vegetation with rapid, splashing movements of the bill.
- to wet slightly in or with a liquid; splash; spatter.
- Chiefly South Midland U.S. to wash or rinse off lightly.
Origin of dabble
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dabbled
Wyclef Jean, the 45-year-old music maestro, has dabbled in many things.Wyclef Jean Talks Lauryn Hill, the Yele Haiti Controversy, and Chris Christie
November 20, 2014
You also write about cocaine as a casual drug you dabbled in earlier.Herbie Hancock Holds Forth
November 8, 2014
After all, this not the first time Cruz has dabbled with fame.Ted Cruz is the Miley Cyrus of the Senate
October 11, 2013
Apparently the former teen star also dabbled in the club drug Molly, putting the high in High School Musical.Report: Zac Efron Went to Rehab; Kerry Washington Named Best Dressed
September 18, 2013
In truth, that was most likely because he dabbled in some of the darker arts favored by hotel security guards.Was Princess Diana Murdered by the British Military?
August 18, 2013
Had he not dabbled his hands in the same sin, almost committed it?Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
To my horror I perceived that the yellow blossoms were all dabbled with crimson.The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
Every curate in England dabbled in geology and hunted for vestiges of Creation.The Education of Henry Adams
I am no mechanic, and yet I have dabbled into scientific matters.Floyd Grandon's Honor
Amanda Minnie Douglas
He dabbled and spilled man's blood, and he killedLike a butcher that kills his own.The Book of Humorous Verse
- to dip, move, or splash (the fingers, feet, etc) in a liquid
- (intr; usually foll by in, with, or at) to deal (with) or work (at) frivolously or superficially; play (at)
- (tr) to daub, mottle, splash, or smearhis face was dabbled with paint
Word Origin and History for dabbled
1550s, probably a frequentative of dab. Original meaning was "wet by splashing;" modern figurative sense of "do superficially" first recorded 1620s. Related: Dabbled; dabbling. An Ellen Dablewife is in the Lancashire Inquests from 1336.