- a cat with a striped or brindled coat.
- a domestic cat, especially a female one.
- a spinster.
- a spiteful female gossip or tattler.
- plain weave.
- a watered silk fabric, or any other watered material, as moreen.
- striped or brindled.
- made of or resembling tabby.
- to give a wavy or watered appearance to, as silk.
Origin of tabby1
- (in the southeastern U.S.) a building material composed of ground oyster shells, lime, and sand, mixed with salt water.
Origin of tabby2
Examples from the Web for tabby
Is not a soft, white-breasted maltese or tabby as attractive?Concerning Cats
Helen M. Winslow
But it's about as nigh to Joe's as 'tis to Tabby's, seems to me.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
I started as though I had seen a tabby pounce down from the rigging!The Rambles of a Rat
A. L. O. E.
Ah, Tabby, what a deal of secret misery there is in the world!
Tabby, old maids are a public nuisance, not to say dangerous.
- a fabric with a watered pattern, esp silk or taffeta
- (esp of cats) brindled with dark stripes or wavy markings on a lighter background
- having a wavy or striped pattern, particularly in colours of grey and brown
- a tabby cat
- any female domestic cat
- British informal a gossiping old woman
- Australian slang any girl or woman
Word Origin and History for tabby
1630s, "striped silk taffeta," from French tabis "a rich, watered silk (originally striped)," from Middle French atabis (14c.), from Arabic 'attabiya, from 'Attabiy, a neighborhood of Baghdad where such cloth was first made, named for prince 'Attab of the Omayyad dynasty. Tabby cat, one with a striped coat, is attested from 1690s; shortened form tabby first attested 1774. Sense of "female cat" (1826) may be influenced by the fem. proper name Tabby, a pet form of Tabitha, which was used in late 18c. as slang for "difficult old woman."