dabbler, n.dabblingly, adv.
/dab"euhl/, v., dabbled, dabbling.
1. to play and splash in or as if in water, esp. with the hands.
2. to work at anything in an irregular or superficial manner: to dabble in literature.
3. (of a duck) to feed on shallow-water vegetation with rapid, splashing movements of the bill.
4. to wet slightly in or with a liquid; splash; spatter.
5. Chiefly South Midland U.S. to wash or rinse off lightly.
[1550-60; prob. DAB1 + -LE; cf. D dabbelen, dabben]
Syn. 2. putter, fiddle, toy, dally.

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Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Dabble — Dab ble, v. i. 1. To play in water, as with the hands; to paddle or splash in mud or water. [1913 Webster] Where the duck dabbles mid the rustling sedge. Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] 2. To work in slight or superficial manner; to do in a small way; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dabble — [dab′əl] vt. dabbled, dabbling [Du dabbelen, freq. of MDu dabben, to strike, DAB1] 1. to dip lightly in and out of a liquid 2. to wet by dipping, splashing, or sprinkling vi. 1. to play in water, as with the hands 2 …   English World dictionary

  • Dabble — Dab ble (d[a^]b b l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dabbled} (d[a^]b b ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Dabbling} (d[a^]b bl[i^]ng).] [Freq. of dab: cf. OD. dabbelen.] To wet by little dips or strokes; to spatter; to sprinkle; to moisten; to wet. Bright hair dabbled …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dabble — (v.) 1550s, probably a frequentative of DAB (Cf. dab). Original meaning was wet by splashing; modern figurative sense of do superficially first recorded 1620s. Related: Dabbled; dabbling. An Ellen Dablewife is in the Lancashire Inquests from 1336 …   Etymology dictionary

  • dabble — [v] play at; tinker amuse oneself with, be amateur, dally, dilly dally*, fiddle with*, flirt with*, horse around*, idle, kid around*, mess around*, monkey*, monkey around*, muck around*, not be serious*, play, play around*, play games with, toy… …   New thesaurus

  • dabble — ► VERB 1) move (one s hands or feet) around gently in water. 2) take part in an activity in a casual way. DERIVATIVES dabbler noun. ORIGIN from obsolete Dutch dabbelen or from DAB(Cf. ↑dab) …   English terms dictionary

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  • dabble — v. (d; intr.) to dabble at, in (to dabble in politics; to dabble at painting) * * * [ dæbl] in (to dabble in politics; to dabble at painting) (d; intr.) to dabble at …   Combinatory dictionary

  • dabble — I UK [ˈdæb(ə)l] / US verb Word forms dabble : present tense I/you/we/they dabble he/she/it dabbles present participle dabbling past tense dabbled past participle dabbled 1) [intransitive] to be involved in an activity for a short time in a way… …   English dictionary

  • dabble — dab|ble [ˈdæbəl] v [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Probably from DAB1] 1.) to do something or be involved in something in a way that is not very serious dabble in/at/with ▪ people who dabble in painting as a way of relaxing 2.) [T] [i]BrE to move your… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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