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shabby

[shab-ee] /ˈʃæb i/
adjective, shabbier, shabbiest.
1.
impaired by wear, use, etc.; worn:
shabby clothes.
2.
showing conspicuous signs of wear or neglect:
The rooms on the upper floors of the mansion had a rather shabby appearance, as if they had not been much in use of late.
3.
wearing worn clothes or having a slovenly or unkempt appearance:
a shabby person.
4.
run-down, seedy, or dilapidated:
a shabby hotel.
5.
meanly ungenerous or unfair; contemptible, as persons, actions, etc.:
shabby behavior.
6.
inferior; not up to par in quality, performance, etc.:
a shabby rendition of the sonata.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; shab (Middle English; Old English sceabb scab) + -y1; cognate with German schäbig
Related forms
shabbily, adverb
shabbiness, noun
unshabbily, adverb
unshabby, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shabby
  • He still lives worse than they do, in a shabby rented house crammed with compatriots.
  • The memorials are still magnificent, but the park grounds are looking shabby.
  • The specs aren't too shabby either, although everything is based on last year's standards.
  • Choosing between conflicting committee meetings may be shabby consolation to the overcommitted, but it's a luxury all the same.
  • The shabby chic table opposite, for instance, is in my zip code range and seriously tempting.
  • In real life, wireless speakers tend to sound kind of shabby.
  • It grieves for lost influence, or fears the imminent loss of influence, and it shudders at an increasingly shabby present.
  • Their shabby corporate governance and their dominance of the economy were widely criticised.
  • May look a bit shabby in winter but revives rapidly in spring add to my plant list.
  • It's a really shabby way for the government to treat these guys who were drafted.
British Dictionary definitions for shabby

shabby

/ˈʃæbɪ/
adjective -bier, -biest
1.
threadbare or dilapidated in appearance
2.
wearing worn and dirty clothes; seedy
3.
mean, despicable, or unworthy: shabby treatment
4.
dirty or squalid
Derived Forms
shabbily, adverb
shabbiness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Old English sceabbscab + -y1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shabby
adj.

1660s, of persons, "poorly dressed," with -y (2) + shab "a low fellow" (1630s), literally "scab" (now only dialectal in the literal sense, in reference to a disease of sheep), from Old English sceabb (the native form of the Scandinavian word that yielded Modern English scab; also see sh-). Cf. Middle Dutch schabbich, German schäbig "shabby."

Of clothes, furniture, etc., "of mean appearance, no longer new or fresh" from 1680s; meaning "inferior in quality" is from 1805. Figurative sense "contemptibly mean" is from 1670s. Related: Shabbily; shabbiness. Shabby-genteel "run-down but trying to keep up appearances, retaining in present shabbiness traces of former gentility," first recorded 1754. Related: Shabaroon "disreputable person," c.1700.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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