- 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
Examples from the Web for shabby
We met on the third floor of a shabby building in Asadabad in an impossibly spare room that we dragged cushions into.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
Graterford is a forbidding, shabby, woebegone facility built in 1929.Here’s a Reform Even the Koch Brothers and George Soros Can Agree On
November 10, 2014
It was such a lovely, shabby, many deco building town and completely unexploited.Barbara Hulanicki, Queen of Fast Fashion
October 15, 2014
Are all these setups, coincidences, misunderstandings, a shabby mass tabloid conspiracy, people on the make?Dear John, It Gets Better: A Letter to Travolta
July 24, 2014
Not too shabby for a creature less than a year old who had never set a tentacle on the pitch.The Amazing Tale of Paul the Psychic Octopus: Germany’s World Cup Soothsayer
July 12, 2014
And while he slept the ground-squirrel ravaged the pockets of his shabby coat.
It had the well-worn look of an old coat, shabby but comfortable.
From the sounds, she judged that he was putting on his shabby gray coat.
The shabby bag between them attracted Gloria's curious gaze.Gloria and Treeless Street
Annie Hamilton Donnell
He wore, indeed, a shabby greenish-gray suit, and a flannel shirt.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
- threadbare or dilapidated in appearance
- wearing worn and dirty clothes; seedy
- mean, despicable, or unworthyshabby treatment
- dirty or squalid
Word Origin and History 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.