|1.||(esp of cats) brindled with dark stripes or wavy markings on a lighter background|
|2.||having a wavy or striped pattern, particularly in colours of grey and brown|
|—n , -bies|
|3.||a tabby cat|
|4.||any female domestic cat|
|5.||informal (Brit) a gossiping old woman|
|6.||slang (Austral) any girl or woman|
|[C17: from Tabby, pet form of the girl's name Tabitha, probably influenced by |
type of dark-striped coat colouring found in both wild and domestic cats. One of the most common coat colours, the tabby pattern dates back to domestic cats in ancient Egypt. It is a recognized colour variety in purebred cats and is frequently seen in cats of mixed ancestry. Tabby colouring is highly variable but, for show cats, should consist of the following dark markings: stripes and whorls on the face and cheeks; a pattern like butterfly wings across the shoulders; two rings around the chest; bands on the back and sides; and rings about the legs and tail. Allowable ground colours are brown (see ), silver gray (see ), bluish ivory, and reddish brown (see ).
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