• WordNet 3.6
    • v dab hit lightly "pat him on the shoulder"
    • v dab apply (usually a liquid) to a surface "dab the wall with paint"
    • n dab a light touch or stroke
    • n dab a small quantity of something moist or liquid "a dab of paint","a splatter of mud","just a splash of whiskey"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Dab A gentle blow with the hand or some soft substance; a sudden blow or hit; a peck. "A scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak."
    • n Dab (Zoöl) A name given to several species of flounders, esp. to the European species, Pleuronectes limanda. The American rough dab is Hippoglossoides platessoides.
    • n Dab dăb A skillful hand; a dabster; an expert. "One excels at a plan or the titlepage, another works away at the body of the book, and the third is a dab at an index."
    • Dab A small mass of anything soft or moist.
    • Dab To strike by a thrust; to hit with a sudden blow or thrust. "To dab him in the neck."
    • Dab To strike or touch gently, as with a soft or moist substance; to tap; hence, to besmear with a dabber. "A sore should . . . be wiped . . . only by dabbing it over with fine lint."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • dab To strike.
    • dab To strike gently with the hand; slap softly; pat.
    • dab To pat or tap gently with some soft or moist substance; specifically, in etching, china-painting, etc., to pat or rub gently with a dabber, so as to diffuse or spread evenly a groundwork of color, etc.; smear.
    • dab To strike with a pointed or sharp weapon; prick; stab.
    • dab To dibble.
    • dab To deceive.
    • dab In stone-working, to pick holes in with a pointed tool; fret.
    • dab To prick.
    • dab To peck, as birds.
    • dab To use a dabber.
    • dab To fall down loosely.
    • n dab A quick or sudden blow.
    • n dab A gentle blow or pat with the hand or some soft substance.
    • n dab A dig; a peck, as from the beak of a bird.
    • n dab A first or imperfect impression on the metal in making a die.
    • n dab A small lump or mass of something soft or moist; a small quantity: as, a dab of mortar; a dab of butter.
    • n dab A trifle; a slight, insignificant thing or person: in contempt.
    • n dab plural Refuse foots of sugar.
    • n dab A pinafore.
    • n dab The salt-water flounder or fluke, Limanda limanda. The teeth are compressed and truncated, and the lateral line is simple and arched above the pectoral; the dorsal has 70 to 76 rays and the anal 52 to 57; the color is brownish, sometimes relieved by yellowish spots. The dab is a common fish on the sandy parts of the British coast, living in deeper water than the true flounder, and not entering the mouths of rivers. It seldom exceeds 12 inches in length, and is preferred to the flounder for the table.
    • n dab An expert; a knowing or skilful man; a dabster.
    • dab Clever; skilled: as, a dab hand at a thing.
    • dab With a dab; without hesitation; vigorously.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Dab dab to strike gently with something soft or moist, to smear
    • pr.p Dab dab′bing; pa.p. dabbed
    • n Dab a gentle blow: a small lump of anything soft or moist: a species of flounder of light-brown colour, with small dark spots and rough, close-set scales
    • n Dab dab an expert person
    • ***


  • Quentin Crisp
    “Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. dabben, to strice; akin to OD. dabben, to pinch, knead, fumble, dabble, and perh. to G. tappen, to grope
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. a corr. of Adept.


In literature:

Handkerchiefs served for towels, and there was a lot of good-natured joshing as the chums dabbed away at their dripping faces.
"Frank Merriwell, Junior's, Golden Trail" by Burt L. Standish
Her hand was dabbing furtively at her face for a purpose which Pierre could not surmise.
"Riders of the Silences" by John Frederick
He rubbed old panels with his sleeve and dabbed wet sponges on surfaces that had sunk.
"The Tragic Muse" by Henry James
A strong smell of size, dabs of paint in one's eyes, And "rehearsals" don't add to the charm of one's drawing-room.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, December 31, 1892" by Various
And I suppose," she added, dabbing impatiently at her eyes, "all I'd do would be to weep anyway, and make things about ten times worse.
"The Outdoor Girls at Bluff Point" by Laura Lee Hope
In and out of the food emporia these dart, buying dabs of this and bits of that.
"Gigolo" by Edna Ferber
I saw thee in a sallow dab, Margarina!
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, February 4, 1893" by Various
Bawbie's man juist wantit a dab at ye.
"My Man Sandy" by J. B. Salmond
His cousin's face was black; and, even as he turned, he gave it a dab with a piece of burnt cork and made it blacker.
"The Girl on the Boat" by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
RUBENS: patches of vermillion dabbed about the human figure, wholly out of harmony with the rest of the coloring (1577-1640).
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama" by E. Cobham Brewer

In poetry:

For many guests in passing by
Want not to leave their writ
And throw their ink dabs, on the sly
Unseen, where they may fit.
"The Guest Book" by Joachim Ringelnatz
O cruel memory! do not conjure up
The ghost of Sally Dab, the famous cook;
Who gave me solid food, the cheering cup,
And on her virtues, begg'd I'd write a book.
"Reflections of A Poet: On Being Invited To A Great Dinner" by Thomas Gent
How he do rant and roar,
An' stump an' stamp about the vloor,
An' swing, an' slap, an' slam the door!
He don't put down a thing,
But he do dab, an' dash, an' ding
It down, till all the house do ring.
"Eclogue:--Racketèn Joe" by William Barnes
Among the tawny tasselled reed
The ducks and ducklings float and feed.
With head oft dabbing in the flood
They fish all day the weedy mud,
And tumbler-like are bobbing there,
Heels topsy turvy in the air.
"The Fens" by John Clare
We got a likely-looking bit of quartz and faked it up
With dabs of golden paint; then called him in.
Oh, he went clean off his head; it was gold for sure, he said.
And if we'd sell our claim he'd raise the tin.
"Hopeful Hawkins" by C J Dennis

In news:

With July 4th falling smack dab in the middle of the week this year, we'll miss having a three day weekend to really feel like we're getting a summer holiday.
And in our quest for Joy Bryant-esque clear skin, we've done everything from dabbing toothpaste on our zits to swearing off chocolate and French fries.
But even having our office located smack-dab in the middle of the dining epicenter doesn't stave off lunchtime boredom.
There's rumble going down on Twitter today, and country music's sweetheart is smack dab in the center of it.
There are a few good reasons Lakers fans might want Steve Nash to take the three-year, $36 million offer extended him by the Toronto Raptors, located smack dab inside his home country of Canada.
In her quest to convince Missouri voters she's moderate enough for them, Sen Claire McCaskill is highlighting a ranking of senators that placed her smack dab in the ideological center.
If you look close, you'll see a dab of orange nail polish I added to the bottom of the jig.
So much going on, everywhere, all the time, it's like we're smack dab in the middle of some kind of existence, isn't it.
That happened to me this week when the endless election season slammed smack-dab into Halloween.
DAB in the United Kingdom now claims 20.4% of all radio listening hours, up from 18% in Q3 2011.
It is smack dab in the middle of Denver, but doesn't have the heavy traffic of the Cherry Creek Trail.
You could eat the Imperial 's fried rabbit forever, reveling in its endearing relentless crunchiness and the moistness beneath, judiciously dabbing each piece with local honey and a "barrel-aged hot sauce" dispensed with an eye dropper.
Almost everyone knows that we are smack dab in the middle of hunting season right now, but did you know that it is also the rut.
I retorted, dabbing his fingers with nail-polish remover.
Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, an isolated archipelago, offers an authentic dab of French soil on Canada's doorstep.

In science:

Ignoring boundary terms, the variation of the action is then δSBF = Z tr((F + where dAB denotes the exterior covariant derivative of B .
Knots and Quantum Gravity: Progress and Prospects
When Λ = 0, A must be flat and B is any section with dAB = 0.
Knots and Quantum Gravity: Progress and Prospects
It is important to note that in the transition from the classical ob jects Dab and Ω to the quantum operators Dab and J there can be ordering ambiguities in cases where the product of two operators is required.
Resolving Ordering Ambiguities in the Collective Quantization by Particle Conjugation Constraints
For the former there is no ambiguity because [Dab , Jb ] = 0.
Resolving Ordering Ambiguities in the Collective Quantization by Particle Conjugation Constraints
In this expression we have temporarily adopted the ordering between Dab and Ω suggested by the form of the perturbed wave–function (4.13).
Resolving Ordering Ambiguities in the Collective Quantization by Particle Conjugation Constraints