drab 1[drab] ExamplesWord Origin adjective, drab·ber, drab·best.
- dull; cheerless; lacking in spirit, brightness, etc.
- having the color drab.
- dull gray; dull brownish or yellowish gray.
- any of several fabrics of this color, especially of thick wool or cotton.
Origin of drab 1 1535–45; Middle French drap Late Latin drappus piece of clothRelated formsdrab·ly, adverbdrab·ness, noun Examples from the Web for drably Historical Examples of drably
They went through drab halls and into drab rooms where drab occupants greeted them drably, and Jane ached with the ugliness of it.
Ruth Comfort Mitchell
To-day it is, next to St. John’s Wood, the most drably respectable quarter of the town.
The crowd lining the opposite side of the street stood in solid ranks, drably clad, eyes following the procession, mouths working.
John Keith Laumer
British Dictionary definitions for drably drab 1 adjective drabber or drabbest
- dull; dingy; shabby
- cheerless; drearya drab evening
- of the colour drab
- a light olive-brown colour
- a fabric of a dull grey or brown colour
Derived Formsdrably, adverbdrabness, nounWord Origin for drab C16: from Old French drap cloth, from Late Latin drappus, perhaps of Celtic origin drab 2 noun
- a slatternly woman
- a whore
verb drabs, drabbing or drabbed
- (intr) to consort with prostitutes
Word Origin for drab C16: of Celtic origin; compare Scottish Gaelic drabag Word Origin and History for drably drab n.
1680s, “color of natural, undyed cloth,” from Middle French drap (see(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.
Idioms and Phrases with drably drab
see dribs and drabs.