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daub

[dawb]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cover or coat with soft, adhesive matter, as plaster or mud: to daub a canvas with paint; to daub stone walls with mud.
  2. to spread (plaster, mud, etc.) on or over something: to daub plaster on a brick wall.
  3. to smear, soil, or defile.
  4. to apply, as paint or colors, unskillfully.
verb (used without object)
  1. to daub something.
  2. to paint unskillfully.
noun
  1. material, especially of an inferior kind, for daubing walls.
  2. something daubed on.
  3. an act of daubing.
  4. 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 formsdaub·er, noundaub·ing·ly, adverbdaub·y, adjectiveun·daubed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for daub

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He supposed he must think up something to daub on there—the poorer the better.

  • It is built of oak framework, filled in with “wattle and daub.”

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The gas had left what appeared to be like a daub of soot on the ceiling.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • All the money you earn goes to buy a blue coat, and daub it with lace.

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

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine


British Dictionary definitions for daub

daub

verb
  1. (tr) to smear or spread (paint, mud, etc), esp carelessly
  2. (tr) to cover or coat (with paint, plaster, etc) carelessly
  3. to paint (a picture) clumsily or badly
noun
  1. an unskilful or crude painting
  2. something daubed on, esp as a wall coveringSee also wattle and daub
  3. a smear (of paint, mud, etc)
  4. the act of daubing
Derived Formsdauber, noundauby, 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

Word Origin and History for daub

v.

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