verb (used with object), dabbed, dab·bing.
- to pat or tap gently, as with something soft or moist: The child dabbed his eyes with the handkerchief.
- to apply (a substance) by light strokes: He dabbed the ointment on the rash.
- to strike, especially lightly, as with the hand.
- to consume (cannabis) by inhaling the vapor of heated cannabis extract oil.
- Masonry. to dress (stonework) with a pointed tool.
- Western U.S. to throw (a rope or line) in an effort to lasso or catch something: Joe dabbed his rope on the steer.
verb (used without object), dabbed, dab·bing.
- to strike lightly; make a dab; pat: She dabbed at the stain on her dress.
- to consume cannabis by inhaling the vapor of heated cannabis extract oil. She dabs for a more intense high.
- a quick or light blow; a pat, as with the hand or something soft.
- a small moist lump or mass: a dab of butter.
- a small quantity: a dab of powder.
- a dose of cannabis extract oil.
- a dance move that involves posing with one’s nose in the crook of a bent elbow at chest level while extending the other arm to the side at or above shoulder level, often performed as a celebratory posture in sports or other competitions.
- digital audio broadcasting
verb dabs, dabbing or dabbed
- to touch lightly and quickly
- (tr) to daub with short tapping strokesto dab the wall with paint
- (tr) to apply (paint, cream, etc) with short tapping strokes
- a small amount, esp of something soft or moista dab of ink
- a small light stroke or tap, as with the hand
- (often plural) mainly British a slang word for fingerprint
- a small common European brown flatfish, Limanda limanda, covered with rough toothed scales: family Pleuronectidae: a food fish
- (often plural) any of various other small flatfish, esp floundersCompare sand dab
- Also called: patiki a sand flounder, Rhombosolea plebia, common around New Zealand’s South Island
- British informal See dab hand
c.1300, dabben “to strike,” of unknown origin, perhaps imitative. Modern sense of “strike with a slight, quick pressure” developed by mid-16c., influenced by French dauber (see daub). Related: Dabbed; dabbing. As a noun from c.1300, “heavy blow with a weapon.” Dab hand is British slang, 1828, from dab “expert” (1690s), said to be school slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from dab in the “strike lightly” sense.