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tabby

1
[ tab-ee ]
/ ˈtæb i /
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See synonyms for: tabby / tabbier / tabbiest on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural tab·bies.
adjective
striped or brindled.
made of or resembling tabby.
verb (used with object), tab·bied, tab·by·ing.
to give a wavy or watered appearance to, as silk.
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Origin of tabby

1
1630–40; back formation from French tabis (taken as plural), Middle French (a)tabis silk cloth <Medieval Latin attābi<Arabic ʿattābī, derivative of (al-)ʿAttābīyah, quarter of Baghdad where the silk was first made, literally, the quarter of (Prince) ʿAttāb

Other definitions for tabby (2 of 2)

tabby2
[ tab-ee ]
/ ˈtæb i /

noun
(in the southeastern U.S.) a building material composed of ground oyster shells, lime, and sand, mixed with salt water.

Origin of tabby

2
An Americanism dating back to 1765–75; of uncertain origin; perhaps from Gullah tabi, from a West African language
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use tabby in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tabby (1 of 2)

tabby1
/ (ˈtæbɪ) /

noun
a fabric with a watered pattern, esp silk or taffeta

Word Origin for tabby

C17: from Old French tabis silk cloth, from Arabic al-`attabiya, literally: the quarter of (Prince) `Attab, the part of Baghdad where the fabric was first made

British Dictionary definitions for tabby (2 of 2)

tabby2
/ (ˈtæbɪ) /

adjective
(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
noun plural -bies
a tabby cat
any female domestic cat
British informal a gossiping old woman
Australian slang any girl or woman

Word Origin for tabby

C17: from Tabby, pet form of the girl's name Tabitha, probably influenced by tabby 1
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
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