- dull; cheerless; lacking in spirit, brightness, etc.
- having the color drab.
- dull gray; dull brownish or yellowish gray.
- any of several fabrics of this color, especially of thick wool or cotton.
Origin of drab1
- a dirty, untidy woman; slattern.
- a prostitute.
- to associate with drabs.
Origin of drab2
Examples from the Web for drab
The winter can be so drab—all greys, blacks, and neutral tones.The Daily Beast’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Carrie Bradshaw in Your Life
November 29, 2014
But why do the outdoor scenes look as dank and drab as the gas-lit, sepia-toned interiors?‘Hell on Wheels’ Has Found Its Way
January 6, 2012
It is long past time for the drab Republican stalwarts to turn to a low-key but heavy-lifting leader.Give Steele a Reality Show
November 14, 2010
The country grew tired of the relentless pictures of death in drab on the evening news and an economy out of control.The Mistake Obama's Repeating
August 6, 2010
Gottlieb waxes this drab compromise to high luster, calling it “taking the best available option and appreciating it.”Give Up on Mr. Perfect?
February 1, 2010
He began to see things truly by the drab light of retrospection.Way of the Lawless
But he had her half painted yaller, an' his a kind of a drab, I guess you'd call it.Meadow Grass
The world—my world before this night—now seemed to have been so drab.
"Lee—over there—" Aura's whispered words were drab with horror.The World Beyond
Raymond King Cummings
A drab sack-coat of alpaca hung, unbuttoned, down to his knees.Lord Jim
- dull; dingy; shabby
- cheerless; drearya drab evening
- of the colour drab
- a light olive-brown colour
- a fabric of a dull grey or brown colour
- a slatternly woman
- a whore
- (intr) to consort with prostitutes
Word Origin and History for drab
1680s, "color of natural, undyed cloth," from Middle French drap (see drape (n.)). Figurative sense is c.1880. Apparently not related to earlier word meaning "a dirty, untidy woman" (1510s), "a prostitute" (1520s), which seems to be connected with Irish drabog, Gaelic drabag "dirty woman," and perhaps with Low German drabbe "dirt." Ultimately perhaps from PIE *dher- "to make muddy." Meaning "small, petty debt" (the sense in dribs and drabs) is 1828, of uncertain connection to the other senses.
Idioms and Phrases with drab
see dribs and drabs.