- 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 drabness
After the drabness of the 1950s, her clothes were chic and slightly transgressive, but not haute couture.Barbara Hulanicki, Queen of Fast Fashion
October 15, 2014
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
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
- 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 drabness
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 drabness
see dribs and drabs.