adjective, shab·bi·er, shab·bi·est.
- impaired by wear, use, etc.; worn: shabby clothes.
- 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.
- wearing worn clothes or having a slovenly or unkempt appearance: a shabby person.
- run-down, seedy, or dilapidated: a shabby hotel.
- meanly ungenerous or unfair; contemptible, as persons, actions, etc.: shabby behavior.
- inferior; not up to par in quality, performance, etc.: a shabby rendition of the sonata.
adjective -bier or -biest
- threadbare or dilapidated in appearance
- wearing worn and dirty clothes; seedy
- mean, despicable, or unworthyshabby treatment
- dirty or squalid
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.