verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to daub something.
to paint unskillfully.


Origin of daub

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English dauben < Anglo-French, Old French dauber to whiten, paint < Latin dealbāre, equivalent to de-, prevocalic variant of dē- de- + albāre to whiten, derivative of albus white; (noun) late Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related formsdaub·er, noundaub·ing·ly, adverbdaub·y, adjectiveun·daubed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for daub

Contemporary Examples of daub

Historical Examples of daub

  • He supposed he must think up something to daub on there—the poorer the better.

  • It is built of oak framework, filled in with “wattle and daub.”

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The gas had left what appeared to be like a daub of soot on the ceiling.


    Emile Zola

  • All the money you earn goes to buy a blue coat, and daub it with lace.

  • "His head's no'but a lump of puddin' and a daub o' pancake," thought Gubblum.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for daub



(tr) to smear or spread (paint, mud, etc), esp carelessly
(tr) to cover or coat (with paint, plaster, etc) carelessly
to paint (a picture) clumsily or badly


an unskilful or crude painting
something daubed on, esp as a wall coveringSee also wattle and daub
a smear (of paint, mud, etc)
the act of daubing
Derived Formsdauber, noundauby, adjective

Word Origin for daub

C14: from Old French dauber to paint, whitewash, from Latin dealbāre, from albāre to whiten, from albus white
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 daub

late 14c. (Dauber as a surname is recorded from mid-13c.), from Old French dauber "to whitewash, plaster" (13c.), perhaps from Latin dealbare, from de- "thoroughly" + albare "to whiten," from albus "white" (see alb). Painting sense is from 1620s. Related: Daubed; daubing. As a noun, from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper