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drab1

[drab] /dræb/
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
1535-1545
1535-45; < Middle French drap < Late Latin drappus piece of cloth
Related forms
drably, adverb
drabness, noun

drab2

[drab] /dræb/
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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Examples from the web for drab
  • Paleontologists are used to drab brown and gray fossils.
  • The world would be incredibly dull, drab and lonely without them.
  • Compared to this, the dull hues and idiotically jaunty pop songs of his everyday life look understandably drab.
  • Revolutionary slogans are strung across drab office buildings and apartments.
  • In winter, the current gray is so drab and lonely-looking.
  • In the nowhere of the web, online shopping takes care of drab repeat purchases and bulk-buying.
  • Regardless, the first critic lost all credibility when he called my clothes drab.
  • The puppets were generally drab colored and awkward.
  • Turn a drab thrift-store chair into a stylish accent for any room in your home.
  • The notice hangs on a drab wall in a remote clinic here, a symbol of this country's bold aspirations.
British Dictionary definitions for drab

drab1

/dræb/
adjective drabber, drabbest
1.
dull; dingy; shabby
2.
cheerless; dreary: a drab evening
3.
of the colour drab
noun
4.
a light olive-brown colour
5.
a fabric of a dull grey or brown colour
Derived Forms
drably, adverb
drabness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French drap cloth, from Late Latin drappus, perhaps of Celtic origin

drab2

/dræb/
noun
1.
a slatternly woman
2.
a whore
verb drabs, drabbing, drabbed
3.
(intransitive) to consort with prostitutes
Word Origin
C16: of Celtic origin; compare Scottish Gaelic drabag
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for drab
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with drab

drab

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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7
8
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