verb (used without object), dabbled, dabbling.
to play and splash in or as if in water, especially with the hands.
to work at anything in an irregular or superficial manner: to dabble in literature.
(of a duck) to feed on shallow-water vegetation with rapid, splashing movements of the bill.
verb (used with object), dabbled, dabbling.
to wet slightly in or with a liquid; splash; spatter.
Chiefly South Midland U.S. to wash or rinse off lightly.

1550–60; probably dab1 + -le; compare Dutch dabbelen, dabben

dabbler, noun
dabblingly, adverb
undabbled, adjective

2. putter, fiddle, toy, dally.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dabble (ˈdæbəl)
1.  to dip, move, or splash (the fingers, feet, etc) in a liquid
2.  (intr; usually foll by in, with, or at) to deal (with) or work (at) frivolously or superficially; play (at)
3.  (tr) to daub, mottle, splash, or smear: his face was dabbled with paint
[C16: probably from Dutch dabbelen; see dab1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1550s, frequentative of dab. Original meaning was "wet by splashing;" modern fig. sense first recorded 1625.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
In the last few years, they began dabbling into hourly rentals as a way to
  compete with car sharing.
They are skimming biographies, dabbling in dictionaries.
But the motivation behind that dabbling is often principled outrage and a drive
  to right wrongs.
He also had a sharp eye for a good investment, successfully dabbling in
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