• WordNet 3.6
    • v dabble bob forward and under so as to feed off the bottom of a body of water "dabbling ducks"
    • v dabble dip a foot or hand briefly into a liquid
    • v dabble work with in an amateurish manner "She dabbles in astronomy","He plays around with investments but he never makes any money"
    • v dabble play in or as if in water, as of small children
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Dabble To play in water, as with the hands; to paddle or splash in mud or water. "Where the duck dabbles 'mid the rustling sedge."
    • v. t Dabble dăb"b'l To wet by little dips or strokes; to spatter; to sprinkle; to moisten; to wet. "Bright hair dabbled in blood."
    • Dabble To work in slight or superficial manner; to do in a small way; to tamper; to meddle. "Dabbling here and there with the text.""During the first year at Dumfries, Burns for the first time began to dabble in politics."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • dabble To dip a little and often; hence, to wet; moisten; spatter; sprinkle.
    • dabble To play in water, as with the hands; splash or play, as in water.
    • dabble To do anything in a slight or superficial manner; touch or try here and there; dip into anything: with in: as, to dabble in railway shares; to dabble in literature.
    • dabble To tamper; meddle.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Dabble dab′l to spatter with moisture
    • v.i Dabble to play in water with hands or feet: to do anything in a trifling way
    • ***


  • Oscar Wilde
    “When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her.”
  • Captain J. G. Stedman
    Captain J. G. Stedman
    “Poetry is an art, the easiest to dabble in, but the hardest to reach true excellence.”
  • Dwight L. Moody
    “Give me a man who says, This one thing I do, and not, These fifty things, I dabble in.”
  • Stirling Moss
    Stirling Moss
    “To achieve anything in this game, you must be prepared to dabbled on the boundary of disaster.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Freq. of dab,: cf. OD. dabbelen,


In literature:

I am no mechanic, and yet I have dabbled into scientific matters.
"Floyd Grandon's Honor" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
The others were as irritated by his dabbling in magic as most of us had been in Rome by Forepaugh's theosophic adventures.
"Nights" by Elizabeth Robins Pennell
All classes of men dabbled in the art at this time; the last mentioned was a pope, the one of whom we now speak was a poet.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
And then, her hand dabbling in the water, her face raised to the blind friendly mountains, she would go dreaming far afield.
"Robert Elsmere" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
How does it happen that a man with such responsibilities can take time to dabble in oil-wells?
"Mr. Opp" by Alice Hegan Rice
And again began dabbling in the water with his fingers.
"Frank Merriwell's Son" by Burt L. Standish
Mrs. Saumarez, I understand, is a woman who dabbles in politics, and your cousin interested her.
"In the Mayor's Parlour" by J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher
She mildly dabbled at her gray hair, which was still neat, and looked across in bewilderment.
"The Innocents" by Sinclair Lewis
A little desultory dabbling in painting; let me tell you, Master Raymond, that is not my idea of work.
"The Boy Artist." by F.M. S.
Can't, you almost fancy yourself sitting down and throwing stones into the river, or dabbling your feet in it?
"Ralph the Heir" by Anthony Trollope

In poetry:

Then something comes into my head
That makes me stop and think:
She's on the table, the quadruped,
And dabbling in my ink!
"Little Elfie" by George MacDonald
Lo! the beautiful feet on the mountains,
That yesterday stood;
The white feet that came with glad tidings
Are dabbled in blood.
"Abraham Lincoln" by Phoebe Cary
’Tis often now the pilgrim turns
A faded face towards that seat,
And cools his brow amongst the ferns;
The runnel dabbling at his feet.
"Mountain Moss" by Henry Kendall
My heart is high, is high, my heart,
As the bee's that groans and swinks
In the dabbled flowers that dart and part
To his woolly bulk when he drinks.
"The Mood O’ The Earth" by Madison Julius Cawein
Against my breast the babe I drew,
With strength from him to stay my fears.
I fought my fight the long days through;
He laughed and dabbled in my tears.
"The Living Picture" by Edward Dyson
Fear lest he should still not be dead.
I was drunk with the lust of his life.
The blood-drops oozed slow from his head
And dabbled a chair. And our strife
Lasted one reeling second, his knife
Lay and winked in the lights overhead.
"After Hearing A Waltz" by Amy Lowell

In news:

As a Forbes Wealth reporter, I spend my days tracking down billionaires around the world, especially those that play in sports and dabble in technology.
Perhaps we have to concede that two-time world indoor 60-meter hurdles champ and two-time 100-meter hurdles Olympian Lolo Jones isn't just dabbling in winter sports.
Hughes started dabbling with music in college with her freshman roommate.
Penske has dabbled in many areas of motorsports, finding success in IndyCar.
Hachette UK dabbles in extraterritoriality.
In Bristol, Drink and Dabble is an artful experience.
I am enjoying the break from the editing room and dabbling in the art department.
Scion not only makes cars that resemble futuristic toasters but also dabbles in music, especially metal.
"Joe Paterno Is Not Something We Dabble In".
She dabbles again in high fashion in an editorial showcasing the latest resort collections in the next issue of V, hitting stands November 3.
You remember him as Jake Gittes, the private eye who dabbled with Faye-fatale Dunaway, searched for her daughter Katherine and got himself a nostril-knifing in the process.
In pro AV, it's increasingly something, judging by the number of vendors and integrators dabbling in real-time location services (RTLS).
He dabbled with magic as a young electrician at a Scottish steel mill.
Dabbling in TV News has its downsides, particularly when one actor known for a specific show gets cast on other, usually foretelling some kind of doom.
PITBULL was left homeless as a teenager after his mother kicked him out of her house for dabbling in drugs.

In science:

This latter result is in accordance with that on brood abandonment fates reported for other dabbling ducks (Gendron and Clark, 2000) and with that reported by Pietz and Buhl (1999) who found no relation between the hen behaviour and brood size in wild free ranging mallards.
Post-hatching parental care behaviour and hormonal status in a precocial bird