dab bed


1 [dab]
verb (used with object), dabbed, dabbing.
to pat or tap gently, as with something soft or moist: The child dabbed his eyes with the handkerchief.
to apply (a substance) by light strokes: He dabbed the ointment on the rash.
to strike, especially lightly, as with the hand.
Masonry. to dress (stonework) with a pointed tool.
Western U.S. to throw (a rope or line) in an effort to lasso or catch something: Joe dabbed his rope on the steer.
verb (used without object), dabbed, dabbing.
to strike lightly; make a dab; pat: She dabbed at the stain on her dress.
a quick or light blow; a pat, as with the hand or something soft.
a small moist lump or mass: a dab of butter.
a small quantity: a dab of powder.

1250–1300; Middle English dabben; compare Norwegian dabbe shuffle along, walk slowly, German Tappe pat, tappen to feel along, grope

8. pat, bit; dollop, smidgen.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dab1 (dæb)
vb , dabs, dabbing, dabbed
1.  to touch lightly and quickly
2.  (tr) to daub with short tapping strokes: to dab the wall with paint
3.  (tr) to apply (paint, cream, etc) with short tapping strokes
4.  a small amount, esp of something soft or moist: a dab of ink
5.  a small light stroke or tap, as with the hand
6.  chiefly (Brit) (often plural) a slang word for fingerprint
[C14: of imitative origin]

dab2 (dæb)
1.  a small common European brown flatfish, Limanda limanda, covered with rough toothed scales: family Pleuronectidae: a food fish
2.  (often plural) Compare sand dab any of various other small flatfish, esp flounders
3.  Also called: patiki a sand flounder, Rhombosolea plebia, common around New Zealand's South Island
[C15: from Anglo-French dabbe, of uncertain origin]

dab3 (dæb)
informal (Brit) See dab hand
[C17: perhaps from dab1 (vb)]

abbreviation for
digital audio broadcasting

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

c.1300, "heavy blow with a weapon," from dabben "to strike," perhaps imitative. Modern sense of "strike with a slight, quick pressure" developed by 1590s, infl. by Fr. dauber (see daub). Dab hand is British slang, 1828, from dab "expert" (1691), said to be school slang, of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Dictionary of American Biography
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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