- impaired by wear, use, etc.; worn: shabby clothes.
- showing conspicuous signs of wear or neglect: The rooms on the upper floors of the mansion had a rather shabby appearance, as if they had not been much in use of late.
- wearing worn clothes or having a slovenly or unkempt appearance: a shabby person.
- run-down, seedy, or dilapidated: a shabby hotel.
- meanly ungenerous or unfair; contemptible, as persons, actions, etc.: shabby behavior.
- inferior; not up to par in quality, performance, etc.: a shabby rendition of the sonata.
Origin of shabby
Examples from the Web for shabbiness
I was so stunned by the shabbiness of their arguments that it made me wonder how powerful this multitrillion-dollar industry is.Our Trip to The Climate War's Ground Zero
September 19, 2014
It was what he said when someone asked a question about the shabbiness of Bedouin villages in the Negev.Birthright Is Co-Opting Our Future
April 23, 2013
The little shabby creature had in a moment dropped her shabbiness.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
The shabbiness of the legislature must answer for it, if criminals remain at large.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
"Cecily doesn't mind about the shabbiness of it," he heard Gilbert saying.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
The hall had a puzzling look of equal nobility and shabbiness.Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti
T. Hall Caine
The shabbiness of the hotel where Helen lived surprised him.The Man from the Bitter Roots
- threadbare or dilapidated in appearance
- wearing worn and dirty clothes; seedy
- mean, despicable, or unworthyshabby treatment
- dirty or squalid
Word Origin and History for shabbiness
1660s, of persons, "poorly dressed," with -y (2) + shab "a low fellow" (1630s), literally "scab" (now only dialectal in the literal sense, in reference to a disease of sheep), from Old English sceabb (the native form of the Scandinavian word that yielded Modern English scab; also see sh-). Cf. Middle Dutch schabbich, German schäbig "shabby."
Of clothes, furniture, etc., "of mean appearance, no longer new or fresh" from 1680s; meaning "inferior in quality" is from 1805. Figurative sense "contemptibly mean" is from 1670s. Related: Shabbily; shabbiness. Shabby-genteel "run-down but trying to keep up appearances, retaining in present shabbiness traces of former gentility," first recorded 1754. Related: Shabaroon "disreputable person," c.1700.