- impaired by wear, use, etc.; worn: shabby clothes.
- showing conspicuous signs of wear or neglect: The rooms on the upper floors of the mansion had a rather shabby appearance, as if they had not been much in use of late.
- wearing worn clothes or having a slovenly or unkempt appearance: a shabby person.
- run-down, seedy, or dilapidated: a shabby hotel.
- meanly ungenerous or unfair; contemptible, as persons, actions, etc.: shabby behavior.
- inferior; not up to par in quality, performance, etc.: a shabby rendition of the sonata.
Origin of shabby
Related Words for shabbierratty, shoddy, run-down, scruffy, decaying, dilapidated, pitiful, tattered, threadbare, worn, dingy, decrepit, desolate, crummy, ramshackle, seedy, squalid, rickety, tacky, cheap
Examples from the Web for shabbier
Historical Examples of shabbier
The one that now stood there was smaller than his own palatial one, and shabbier.The Einstein See-Saw
Miles John Breuer
But toward the end of the season the Beans got shabbier than ever.Torchy As A Pa
The rooms were even smaller and shabbier than he had believed possible.How It All Came Round
L. T. Meade
The Khri, was a native, and his robes could not well have been dirtier or shabbier.Tent Work in Palestine
Claude Reignier Conder
He was shabbier than ever, poor soul, and he looked pinched and hungry.Mohawks, Volume 2 of 3
Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- threadbare or dilapidated in appearance
- wearing worn and dirty clothes; seedy
- mean, despicable, or unworthyshabby treatment
- dirty or squalid
Word Origin for shabby
1660s, of persons, "poorly dressed," with -y (2) + shab "a low fellow" (1630s), literally "scab" (now only dialectal in the literal sense, in reference to a disease of sheep), from Old English sceabb (the native form of the Scandinavian word that yielded Modern English scab; also see sh-). Cf. Middle Dutch schabbich, German schäbig "shabby."
Of clothes, furniture, etc., "of mean appearance, no longer new or fresh" from 1680s; meaning "inferior in quality" is from 1805. Figurative sense "contemptibly mean" is from 1670s. Related: Shabbily; shabbiness. Shabby-genteel "run-down but trying to keep up appearances, retaining in present shabbiness traces of former gentility," first recorded 1754. Related: Shabaroon "disreputable person," c.1700.