Dictionary

dabbler

noun dab·bler \-b(ə-)lər\

Definition of DABBLER

:  one that dabbles: as
a :  one not deeply engaged in or concerned with something
b :  a duck (as a mallard or shoveler) that feeds by dabbling —called also dabbling duck, puddle duck, river duck

Examples of DABBLER

  1. <he was a dabbler, learning the basics of many arts but mastering none>

First Known Use of DABBLER

1611

Synonym Discussion of DABBLER

amateur, dilettante, dabbler, tyro mean a person who follows a pursuit without attaining proficiency or professional status. amateur often applies to one practicing an art without mastery of its essentials <a painting obviously done by an amateur>; in sports it may also suggest not so much lack of skill but avoidance of direct remuneration <remained an amateur despite lucrative offers>. dilettante may apply to the lover of an art rather than its skilled practitioner but usually implies elegant trifling in the arts and an absence of serious commitment <had no patience for dilettantes>. dabbler suggests desultory habits of work and lack of persistence <a dabbler who started novels but never finished them>. tyro implies inexperience often combined with audacity with resulting crudeness or blundering <shows talent but is still a mere tyro>.

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