Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A negligible amount: finished the work in dribs and drabs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A drop.
  • v. To cut off; chop off.
  • v. To cut off little by little; cheat by small and reiterated tricks; purloin.
  • v. To entice step by step.
  • v. To shoot directly at short range.
  • v. To shoot at a mark at short range.
  • v. To beat; thrash; drub.
  • v. To scold.
  • v. To strike another player's marble when playing from the trigger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A drop.
  • n. a small portion or small amount of anything; -- used mostly in the phrase dribs and drabs.
  • v. To shoot (a shaft) so as to pierce on the descent.
  • transitive v. To cut off by a little at a time; to crop.
  • transitive v. To appropriate unlawfully; to filch; to defalcate.
  • transitive v. To lead along step by step; to entice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut off; chop off. Dekker. Specifically
  • To cut off little by little; cheat by small and reiterated tricks; purloin.
  • To entice step by step.
  • In archery, to shoot directly at short range.
  • In archery, to shoot at a mark at short range.
  • To dribble; drivel.
  • n. A drop; a driblet, or small quantity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small indefinite quantity (especially of a liquid)

Etymologies

Perhaps from driblet.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From English dialectal drib (compare also drub), a variant from Middle English drepen ("to hit, strike, slay"), from Old English drepan ("to strike, kill, overcome"), from Proto-Germanic *drepanan (“to hit, strike”). More at drub. (Wiktionary)
From a variant of drip. (Wiktionary)

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