- dull; cheerless; lacking in spirit, brightness, etc.
- having the color drab.
- dull gray; dull brownish or yellowish gray.
- any of several fabrics of this color, especially of thick wool or cotton.
Origin of drab1
Examples from the Web for drably
They went through drab halls and into drab rooms where drab occupants greeted them drably, and Jane ached with the ugliness of it.Jane Journeys On
Ruth Comfort Mitchell
To-day it is, next to St. John's Wood, the most drably respectable quarter of the town.Nights in London
The crowd lining the opposite side of the street stood in solid ranks, drably clad, eyes following the procession, mouths working.It Could Be Anything
John Keith Laumer
- dull; dingy; shabby
- cheerless; drearya drab evening
- of the colour drab
- a light olive-brown colour
- a fabric of a dull grey or brown colour
- a slatternly woman
- a whore
- (intr) to consort with prostitutes
Word Origin and History for drably
1680s, "color of natural, undyed cloth," from Middle French drap (see drape (n.)). Figurative sense is c.1880. Apparently not related to earlier word meaning "a dirty, untidy woman" (1510s), "a prostitute" (1520s), which seems to be connected with Irish drabog, Gaelic drabag "dirty woman," and perhaps with Low German drabbe "dirt." Ultimately perhaps from PIE *dher- "to make muddy." Meaning "small, petty debt" (the sense in dribs and drabs) is 1828, of uncertain connection to the other senses.
Idioms and Phrases with drably
see dribs and drabs.