The country grew tired of the relentless pictures of death in drab on the evening news and an economy out of control.
Gottlieb waxes this drab compromise to high luster, calling it “taking the best available option and appreciating it.”
Berlusconi is tolerated by Italians at least in part because he offers a colorful alternative to a government of drab bureaucrats.
1680s, "color of natural, undyed cloth," from Middle French drap (see drape (n.)). Figurative sense is c.1880. Apparently not related to earlier word meaning "a dirty, untidy woman" (1510s), "a prostitute" (1520s), which seems to be connected with Irish drabog, Gaelic drabag "dirty woman," and perhaps with Low German drabbe "dirt." Ultimately perhaps from PIE *dher- "to make muddy." Meaning "small, petty debt" (the sense in dribs and drabs) is 1828, of uncertain connection to the other senses.