dab

1
[dab]
||

verb (used with object), dabbed, dab·bing.

verb (used without object), dabbed, dab·bing.

to strike lightly; make a dab; pat: She dabbed at the stain on her dress.
to consume cannabis by inhaling the vapor of heated cannabis extract oil. She dabs for a more intense high.

noun


Origin of dab

1
1250–1300; Middle English dabben; compare Norwegian dabbe “to shuffle along, walk slowly,” German tappen “to feel along, grope”

Synonyms for dab

dab

2
[dab]

noun

any of several flatfishes of the genus Limanda, especially the European flatfish, L. limanda.

Origin of dab

2
First recorded in 1570–80; perhaps special use of dab1

dab

3
[dab]Slang.

noun

Also called dab hand. a person skilled in something; an expert.
an excellent or extraordinary person or thing.

adjective

expert; excellent; extraordinary.

Origin of dab

3
First recorded in 1685–95; of uncertain origin

DAB

Dictionary of American Biography.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for dab

dab

1

verb dabs, dabbing or dabbed

to touch lightly and quickly
(tr) to daub with short tapping strokesto dab the wall with paint
(tr) to apply (paint, cream, etc) with short tapping strokes

noun

a small amount, esp of something soft or moista dab of ink
a small light stroke or tap, as with the hand
(often plural) mainly British a slang word for fingerprint

Word Origin for dab

C14: of imitative origin

dab

2

noun

a small common European brown flatfish, Limanda limanda, covered with rough toothed scales: family Pleuronectidae: a food fish
(often plural) any of various other small flatfish, esp floundersCompare sand dab
Also called: patiki a sand flounder, Rhombosolea plebia, common around New Zealand's South Island

Word Origin for dab

C15: from Anglo-French dabbe, of uncertain origin

dab

3

noun

British informal See dab hand

Word Origin for dab

C17: perhaps from dab 1 (vb)

DAB

abbreviation for

digital audio broadcasting
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

Word Origin and History for dab
v.

c.1300, dabben "to strike," of unknown origin, perhaps imitative. Modern sense of "strike with a slight, quick pressure" developed by mid-16c., influenced by French dauber (see daub). Related: Dabbed; dabbing. As a noun from c.1300, "heavy blow with a weapon." Dab hand is British slang, 1828, from dab "expert" (1690s), said to be school slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from dab in the "strike lightly" sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper