drab

1 [drab]
adjective, drabber, drabbest.
1.
dull; cheerless; lacking in spirit, brightness, etc.
2.
having the color drab.
noun
3.
dull gray; dull brownish or yellowish gray.
4.
any of several fabrics of this color, especially of thick wool or cotton.

Origin:
1535–45; < Middle French drap < Late Latin drappus piece of cloth

drably, adverb
drabness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged

drab

2 [drab]
noun
1.
a dirty, untidy woman; slattern.
2.
a prostitute.
verb (used without object), drabbed, drabbing.
3.
to associate with drabs.

Origin:
1505–15; perhaps akin to Dutch drab dregs, lees, obsolete Dutch drablen to run or tramp about; cf. drabble, draff

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
drab1 (dræb)
 
adj , drabber, drabbest
1.  dull; dingy; shabby
2.  cheerless; dreary: a drab evening
3.  of the colour drab
 
n
4.  a light olive-brown colour
5.  a fabric of a dull grey or brown colour
 
[C16: from Old French drap cloth, from Late Latin drappus, perhaps of Celtic origin]
 
'drably1
 
adv
 
'drabness1
 
n

drab2 (dræb)
 
n
1.  a slatternly woman
2.  a whore
 
vb , drabs, drabbing, drabbed
3.  (intr) to consort with prostitutes
 
[C16: of Celtic origin; compare Scottish Gaelic drabag]

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

drab
1686, "color of natural, undyed cloth," from M.Fr. drap (see drape). Figurative sense is c.1880. Apparently not related to earlier word meaning "a dirty, untidy woman" (c.1515), "a prostitute" (c.1530), which seems to be connected with Ir. drabog, Gael. drabag "dirty woman,"
and perhaps with Low Ger. drabbe "dirt."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

drab

see dribs and drabs.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Paleontologists are used to drab brown and gray fossils.
The world would be incredibly dull, drab and lonely without them.
Revolutionary slogans are strung across drab office buildings and apartments.
In winter, the current gray is so drab and lonely-looking.
Idioms & Phrases
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