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 dauber

Historical Examples of dauber

  • And now you can go to—one dauber less is a blessing to humanity!

  • Dauber, it will be seen, is more than an exciting story of a storm.

  • Enguehard is an idle dog, who does no good, while Rivol is too well off ever to be anything more than an amateur and a dauber.

    Popular Tales

    Madame Guizot

  • When Cyrus Glover was informed that his daughter intended to marry a dauber in paints, he started for Paris on ten hours' notice.

  • Secker means sackmaker, Parmenter a parchmenter, Pargater a dauber, Straker a maker of tires.

    Why we should read

    S. P. B. Mais

British Dictionary definitions for dauber



(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 dauber



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