They went through drab halls and into drab rooms where drab occupants greeted them drably, and Jane ached with the ugliness of it.
To-day it is, next to St. John's Wood, the most drably respectable quarter of the town.
The crowd lining the opposite side of the street stood in solid ranks, drably clad, eyes following the procession, mouths working.
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.