[ shab-ee ]
See synonyms for: shabbyshabbiershabbilyshabbiness on

adjective,shab·bi·er, shab·bi·est.
  1. impaired by wear, use, etc.; worn: shabby clothes.

  2. 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.

  1. wearing worn clothes or having a slovenly or unkempt appearance: a shabby person.

  2. run-down, seedy, or dilapidated: a shabby hotel.

  3. meanly ungenerous or unfair; contemptible, as persons, actions, etc.: shabby behavior.

  4. inferior; not up to par in quality, performance, etc.: a shabby rendition of the sonata.

Origin of shabby

1660–70; shab (Middle English; Old English sceabbscab) + -y1; cognate with German schäbig

Other words from shabby

  • shab·bi·ly, adverb
  • shab·bi·ness, noun
  • un·shab·bi·ly, adverb
  • un·shab·by, adjective

Words Nearby shabby Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use shabby in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shabby


/ (ˈʃæbɪ) /

adjective-bier or -biest
  1. threadbare or dilapidated in appearance

  2. wearing worn and dirty clothes; seedy

  1. mean, despicable, or unworthy: shabby treatment

  2. dirty or squalid

Origin of shabby

C17: from Old English sceabb scab + -y 1

Derived forms of shabby

  • shabbily, adverb
  • shabbiness, noun

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