verb (dabbled; dabbling) Etymology: perhaps frequentative of 2dab Date: 1557 transitive verb to wet by splashing or by little dips or strokes ; spatter intransitive verb 1. a. to paddle, splash, or play in or as if in water b. to reach with the bill to the bottom of shallow water in order to obtain food 2. to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently especially in a secondary activity or interest <
dabbles in art

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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

  • Dabble — This article is about video search service. For the database service, see Dabble DB. Dabble Video Search Screenshot of Dabble Video Search Type Private Industry Internet services …   Wikipedia

  • 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

  • dabble — [[t]dæ̱b(ə)l[/t]] dabbles, dabbling, dabbled VERB If you dabble in something, you take part in it but not very seriously. [V in/with/at n] He dabbled in business... [V in/with/at n] She dabbled with drugs... Magicians do not dabble, they work… …   English dictionary

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