[ dab-ing ]
/ ˈdæb ɪŋ /


the consumption of cannabis by inhaling the vapor of heated cannabis extract oil: Experts agree that dabbing is more addictive than smoking.
Also called dab·bin' [dab-in] /ˈdæb ɪn/. the act of performing a dance move that involves posing with one’s nose in the crook of a bent elbow at chest level while extending the other arm to the side at or above shoulder level, often as a celebratory posture in sports or other competitions.

Origin of dabbing

2000–05; dab1 (in the sense “to consume cannabis by inhaling heated extract oil”for def 1; in the sense “a dance step” for def 2) + -ing1

Definition for dabbing (2 of 2)


[ dab ]
/ dæb /

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.


Origin of dab

1250–1300; Middle English dabben; compare Norwegian dabbe “to shuffle along, walk slowly,” German tappen “to feel along, grope”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dabbing

British Dictionary definitions for dabbing (1 of 4)


abbreviation for

digital audio broadcasting

British Dictionary definitions for dabbing (2 of 4)


/ (dæb) /

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


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

British Dictionary definitions for dabbing (3 of 4)


/ (dæb) /


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

British Dictionary definitions for dabbing (4 of 4)


/ (dæb) /


British informal See dab hand

Word Origin for dab

C17: perhaps from dab 1 (vb)
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 dabbing



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