drab

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj drab causing dejection "a blue day","the dark days of the war","a week of rainy depressing weather","a disconsolate winter landscape","the first dismal dispiriting days of November","a dark gloomy day","grim rainy weather"
    • adj drab of a light brownish green color
    • adj drab lacking brightness or color; dull "drab faded curtains","sober Puritan grey","children in somber brown clothes"
    • adj drab lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise "her drab personality","life was drab compared with the more exciting life style overseas","a series of dreary dinner parties"
    • n drab a dull greyish to yellowish or light olive brown
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Drab A dull brownish yellow or dull gray color.
    • Drab A kind of thick woolen cloth of a dun, or dull brownish yellow, or dull gray, color; -- called also drabcloth.
    • Drab A lewd wench; a strumpet.
    • Drab A low, sluttish woman.
    • Drab A wooden box, used in salt works for holding the salt when taken out of the boiling pans.
    • a Drab Of a color between gray and brown.
    • v. i Drab To associate with strumpets; to wench.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n drab A slut; a slattern.
    • n drab A strumpet; a prostitute.
    • drab To associate with strumpets.
    • n drab A thick woolen cloth of a yellowish-gray color.
    • n drab A yellowish-gray tint.
    • drab Of a yellowish-gray color, like the cloth so called.
    • n drab A kind of wooden box used in salt-works for holding the salt when taken out of the boiling-pans. Its bottom is shelving or inclining, that the water may drain off.
    • n drab An English collectors' name for a number of noctuid moths of a drab color: as, the clouded drab, Tæniocampa instabilis; the northern drab, T. opima; the lead-colored drab, T. populeti.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Drab drab a low, sluttish woman: a whore
    • v.i Drab to associate with bad women
    • n Drab drab thick, strong, gray cloth: a gray or dull-brown colour, perh. from the muddy colour of undyed wool.
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Quotations

  • Emily Dickinson
    Emily%20Dickinson
    “Drab Habitation of Whom? Tabernacle or Tomb -- or Dome of Worm -- or Porch of Gnome -- or some Elf's Catacomb?”

Idioms

In dribs and drabs - If people arrive in dribs and drabs, they come in small groups at irregular intervals, instead of all arriving at the same time.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. drap, cloth: LL. drappus, trapus, perh. orig., a firm, solid stuff, cf. F. draper, to drape, also to full cloth; prob. of German origin; cf. Icel. drepa, to beat, strike, AS. drepan, G. treffen,; perh. akin to E. drub,. Cf. Drape Trappings
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. drap, cloth—Low L. drappus, prob. Teut.

Usage

In literature:

When two colors are worn in any quantity, one must approach a neutral tint, such as gray or drab.
"Our Deportment" by John H. Young
Her hair was looped down over her ears in two folds like shiny drab satin.
"Comfort Pease and her Gold Ring" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Her teeth were yellow, her hands become claws, the scarlet of her clothes a drab hue, the plumes on her hat gone.
"Visionaries" by James Huneker
The young lady wore a long drab coat and had a fair pig-tail.
"Boy Woodburn" by Alfred Ollivant
The East is supposed to be full of blazing colour and the North gray and drab.
"A Dweller in Mesopotamia" by Donald Maxwell
G, Grandma Sherwood, who dresses in drab.
"Marjorie at Seacote" by Carolyn Wells
Two servants in plain drab liveries, followed at a considerable distance.
"The Diary of an Ennuyée" by Anna Brownell Jameson
Ye could tell if he wore his boots and spurs, an' his drab waistcoat, buttoned high?
"A Dozen Ways Of Love" by Lily Dougall
It would stir the political bile or the physical spleen of a drab or a Tory To hear critics disputing my claim to Empedocles, Maud, and the Laboratory.
"The Heptalogia" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
He wore drab trousers, and shoes tied with bows of black ribbon.
"The Argosy" by Various
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In poetry:

Frozen grass for a bearing bed,
A halo of frost round a woman's head,
And pious folks who looked and said:
"A drab and her brat that are better dead."
"Mary Of Magdala" by Edith Nesbit
The drab street stares to see them row on row
On the high tram-tops, singing like the lark.
Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go
Into the dark.
"Joining The Colours" by Katharine Tynan
Knights of Suburbia, whose only care
Is to be counted 'mid the "naicest" there,
Teach me how I, some day, may learn to be
Clothed in drab Respectability.
"Suburbia - A Yearn" by C J Dennis
Toussaints. In sombre twos and threes
Between those coloured pillars went
Drab mourners. Full of presences
The air seemed .. . ever and anon rent
By a slow bell's solemnities.
"Toussaints (ToJ.W.H.)" by Ivor Gurney
His regiment coat he threw aside;
Put on a drab--ne'er saw his bride:
Thus he, his rising ills to smother,
Resum'd one drab, and left another:
Then off, to seek his fortune, went,
Belov'd; his officers consent.
"The Parrish Wedding" by William Hutton
Shivery grasses round about us nodding bonnets in the breeze,
Happy Jacks and Twelve Apostles hurdle-racing up the trees,
Peewees calling from the gullies, living wonders in the pool—
Hard bare seats and drab gray humdrum at the old bush school.
"The Old Bush School" by John O Brien

In news:

Basements can be somewhat drab, but they don't have to be.
When the dull drab grey, of winter finally melts into spring, my eyes and heart search for colors.
This isn't the typical olive drab, though.
Gone are drab, black-and-white signs that had marked village streets since 1971.
Drab shoes and lackluster loafers are something that often stops Adam in his tracks.
It's another drab, dreary finish to a drab, dreary season for the Cleveland Browns: Terry Pluto.
Just because the sky can be drab and dreary in the fall and winter months does not mean the landscaping around your home must be, too.
Once a drab, tired, depressing place -- now puts its stablemates to shame.
' The singer leads a rebellion among a group of oppressed inmates forced to wear drab clothes, wait in line to receive special pills, and perform mindless chores.
A colorful plant in drab winter months.
Female and young Costa's Hummingbirds typically look drab and pale overall.
Updating this drab bathroom started with a new paint job … then replacing the sink and countertop.
Fifty thousand feet over the California desert, the world is a vast expanse of blue with a drab carpet of khaki far, far below.
Once a drab post-industrial and residential neighborhood, its main claim to fame was its thriving Polish community.
Rafa Benitez endured a hostile reception and gave the restless Chelsea fans nothing to cheer about as his first match in charge ended in a drab 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Sunday.
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In science:

Beyond this admittedly rather drab result, it is somewhat arduous to characterize the class of deterministic GILs.
Graph Interpolation Grammars as Context-Free Automata
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