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[dawb] /dɔb/
verb (used with object)
to cover or coat with soft, adhesive matter, as plaster or mud:
to daub a canvas with paint; to daub stone walls with mud.
to spread (plaster, mud, etc.) on or over something:
to daub plaster on a brick wall.
to smear, soil, or defile.
to apply, as paint or colors, unskillfully.
verb (used without object)
to daub something.
to paint unskillfully.
material, especially of an inferior kind, for daubing walls.
something daubed on.
an act of daubing.
a crude, inartistic painting.
Origin of daub
1275-1325; (v.) Middle English dauben < Anglo-French, Old French dauber to whiten, paint < Latin dealbāre, equivalent to de-, prevocalic variant of dē- de- + albāre to whiten, derivative of albus white; (noun) late Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related forms
dauber, noun
daubingly, adverb
dauby, adjective
undaubed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for daub
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were some clumsily indicated buildings, possibly sheds and stables of daub and wattle, eking out the ramshackle house.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • The walls of the dormitory were constructed in what is well known as "wattle and daub."

    Prisoners Their Own Warders J. F. A. McNair
  • They daub themselves with rocon, but do not, like the men, make black streaks upon the face and body.

    Buffon's Natural History. Volume IV (of 10) Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon
  • He supposed he must think up something to daub on there—the poorer the better.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • He also told me it was the custom in England and other uncivilised parts of the world to daub oil-paints on a piece of canvas.

  • "His head's no'but a lump of puddin' and a daub o' pancake," thought Gubblum.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • They bring buffalo skulls, daub them with red earth, and place them as you see, noses pointing to the east.

    South from Hudson Bay E. C. [Ethel Claire] Brill
  • As for "wattle and daub" I could wish that it had never been invented.

British Dictionary definitions for daub


(transitive) to smear or spread (paint, mud, etc), esp carelessly
(transitive) to cover or coat (with paint, plaster, etc) carelessly
to paint (a picture) clumsily or badly
an unskilful or crude painting
something daubed on, esp as a wall covering See also wattle and daub
a smear (of paint, mud, etc)
the act of daubing
Derived Forms
dauber, noun
dauby, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French dauber to paint, whitewash, from Latin dealbāre, from albāre to whiten, from albus white
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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Word Origin and History for daub

late 14c. (Dauber as a surname is recorded from mid-13c.), from Old French dauber "to whitewash, plaster" (13c.), perhaps from Latin dealbare, from de- "thoroughly" + albare "to whiten," from albus "white" (see alb). Painting sense is from 1620s. Related: Daubed; daubing. As a noun, from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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