dabble

[ dab-uhl ]
/ ˈdæb əl /

verb (used without object), dab·bled, dab·bling.

to play and splash in or as if in water, especially with the hands.
to work at anything in an irregular or superficial manner: to dabble in literature.
(of a duck) to feed on shallow-water vegetation with rapid, splashing movements of the bill.

verb (used with object), dab·bled, dab·bling.

to wet slightly in or with a liquid; splash; spatter.
Chiefly South Midland U.S. to wash or rinse off lightly.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON THESE WORDS FROM BROWN GIRL DREAMING!

Visualize yourself passing this quiz on words from Jacqueline Woodson’s exquisite verse novel “Brown Girl Dreaming,” and then take the quiz to prove you can do it! (Because you can.)
Question 1 of 10
What does “barren” mean?

Origin of dabble

1550–60; probably dab1 + -le; compare Dutch dabbelen, dabben

OTHER WORDS FROM dabble

dabbler, noundab·bling·ly, adverbun·dab·bled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for dabble

British Dictionary definitions for dabble

dabble
/ (ˈdæbəl) /

verb

to dip, move, or splash (the fingers, feet, etc) in a liquid
(intr; usually foll by in, with, or at) to deal (with) or work (at) frivolously or superficially; play (at)
(tr) to daub, mottle, splash, or smearhis face was dabbled with paint

Derived forms of dabble

dabbler, noun

Word Origin for dabble

C16: probably from Dutch dabbelen; see dab 1
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