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drab1

[drab] /dræb/
adjective, drabber, drabbest.
1.
dull; cheerless; lacking in spirit, brightness, etc.
2.
having the color drab.
noun
3.
dull gray; dull brownish or yellowish gray.
4.
any of several fabrics of this color, especially of thick wool or cotton.
Origin of drab1
1535-1545
1535-45; < Middle French drap < Late Latin drappus piece of cloth
Related forms
drably, adverb
drabness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for drabness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The rays of the setting sun brought out the drabness of her.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • So began a merry interlude in the drabness of the Handsomebody regime.

    Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
  • There was time to see the drabness of his boarding place, so he changed it.

    Stubble

    George Looms
  • Neither dress nor ceremony had yet been curtailed by the drabness of Democracy.

    Seaport in Virginia

    Gay Montague Moore
  • Michael enjoyed Mr. Neech's eccentricities after the drabness of the Special.

    Sinister Street, vol. 1 Compton Mackenzie
  • She was tired of the drabness and clutter of crowded foregrounds.

    The Blood Red Dawn Charles Caldwell Dobie
  • The loneliness and drabness of working away from people are fatal to his best effort.

    How to Analyze People on Sight

    Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict
  • We know that it is our sacred mission to save the world from the drabness of modern democracy.

  • In the air was a drone of drab creatures being happy in their drabness, rejoicing in the waste, thoughtless of the future.

    Stubble

    George Looms
British Dictionary definitions for drabness

drab1

/dræb/
adjective drabber, drabbest
1.
dull; dingy; shabby
2.
cheerless; dreary: a drab evening
3.
of the colour drab
noun
4.
a light olive-brown colour
5.
a fabric of a dull grey or brown colour
Derived Forms
drably, adverb
drabness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French drap cloth, from Late Latin drappus, perhaps of Celtic origin

drab2

/dræb/
noun
1.
a slatternly woman
2.
a whore
verb drabs, drabbing, drabbed
3.
(intransitive) to consort with prostitutes
Word Origin
C16: of Celtic origin; compare Scottish Gaelic drabag
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 drabness

drab

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with drabness

drab

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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11
13
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