from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To apply with short poking strokes: dabbed some paint on the worn spots.
- transitive v. To cover lightly with or as if with a moist substance.
- transitive v. To strike or hit lightly.
- intransitive v. To tap gently; pat.
- n. A small amount: a dab of jelly.
- n. A quick light pat.
- n. Any of various flatfishes, chiefly of the genera Limanda and Hippoglossoides, related to and resembling the flounders.
- n. Chiefly British A dab hand.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To press lightly in a repetitive motion with a soft object without rubbing.
- v. To apply a substance in this way.
- n. A soft tap or blow; a blow or peck from a bird's beak; an aimed blow.
- n. A soft, playful box given in greeting or approval.
- n. A small amount, a blob of some soft or wet substance.
- n. Fingerprint.
- adv. With a dab, or sudden contact.
- n. One skilful or proficient, an expert, an adept.
- n. A small flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae, especially Limanda limanda； a flounder.
- n. A sand dab.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A skillful hand; a dabster; an expert.
- n. A name given to several species of flounders, esp. to the European species, Pleuronectes limanda. The American rough dab is Hippoglossoides platessoides.
- n. A gentle blow with the hand or some soft substance; a sudden blow or hit; a peck.
- n. A small mass of anything soft or moist.
- intransitive v. To strike or touch gently, as with a soft or moist substance; to tap; hence, to besmear with a dabber.
- intransitive v. To strike by a thrust; to hit with a sudden blow or thrust.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To strike.
- To strike gently with the hand; slap softly; pat.
- 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.
- To strike with a pointed or sharp weapon; prick; stab.
- To dibble.
- To deceive.
- In stone-working, to pick holes in with a pointed tool; fret.
- To prick.
- To peck, as birds.
- To use a dabber.
- To fall down loosely.
- n. An expert; a knowing or skilful man; a dabster.
- Clever; skilled: as, a dab hand at a thing.
- With a dab; without hesitation; vigorously.
- n. A quick or sudden blow.
- n. A gentle blow or pat with the hand or some soft substance.
- n. A dig; a peck, as from the beak of a bird.
- n. A first or imperfect impression on the metal in making a die.
- n. A small lump or mass of something soft or moist; a small quantity: as, a dab of mortar; a dab of butter.
- n. A trifle; a slight, insignificant thing or person: in contempt.
- n. plural Refuse foots of sugar.
- n. A pinafore.
- n. The salt-water flounder or fluke, Limanda limanda.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. apply (usually a liquid) to a surface
- n. a light touch or stroke
- v. hit lightly
- n. a small quantity of something moist or liquid
But from about the seventeenth century until the 1930s, we were called dab hands.
(There is also S. 1033 "For a Safe and Secure America" blogged here March 28 under the title "Senate Bill 1033, Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" and an earlier blog entry on this same bill, March 26, "Immigration Conflagration") But here is a dab from the sponsoring Congressman's website:
Goeing up that same river we meet 2 french that weare fishing a kind of fish called dab, which is excellent, & have done us great kindnesse, having left no more provision then what we needed much.
Other arctic flatfish include the long rough dab, which is an abundant bottom-dweller in some parts of the Arctic seas, including the Barents Sea .
"I like to keep active, and was chopping wood, general fetching and carrying," said Wood, known as a dab hand at DIY.
Other arctic flatfish include the long rough dab, which is an abundant bottom-dweller in some parts of the Arctic seas, including the Barents Sea
It was Fox news that said the "dab" between this couple was a terrorist tap
Note 53: I translate as "dab" the Shangaan verb kutota, which means to anoint, as with oil.
He could light a fire in a minute under the most unfavorable conditions and with the most unpromising material, made the best coffee to be tasted outside of a creole kitchen, was a "dab" at camp stews and roasts, groomed my horses (one of which he rode near me), washed my linen, and was never behind time.
And there is no doubt that she was what old Jolyon called her -- "a 'dab' at that" -- he went further, he called her "a humbug."