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1

tabby

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noun tab·by \ˈta-bē\

Definition of tabby

plural tabbies

  1. 1a archaic :  a plain silk taffeta especially with moiré finishb :  a plain-woven fabric

  2. 2 [2tabby] a :  a domestic cat with a striped and mottled coatb :  a domestic cat; especially :  a female cat



Illustration of tabby

Origin of tabby

French tabis, from Middle French atabis, from Medieval Latin attabi, from Arabic ʽattābī, from Al-ʽAttābīya, quarter in Baghdad


First Known Use: 1638

Rhymes with tabby


2

tabby

adjective tab·by

Definition of tabby

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or made of tabby <a tabby vest>

  2. 2 :  striped and mottled with darker color :  brindled <a tabby cat>



1640

First Known Use of tabby

1640


3

tabby

noun tab·by

Definition of tabby

  1. :  a cement made of lime, sand or gravel, and oyster shells and used chiefly along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina in the 17th and 18th centuries



Origin of tabby

Gullah tabi, ultimately from Spanish tapia adobe wall


First Known Use: 1775


TABBY Defined for Kids

tabby

play
noun tab·by \ˈta-bē\

Definition of tabby

plural tabbies

  1. :  a domestic cat with a striped and spotted coat



History for tabby

A silk cloth with a wavy pattern was once made in a part of the city of Baghdad, now the capital of the modern nation of Iraq. In Arabic the cloth was known as ‘attābī, from Al-‘Attābīya, the name of its place of origin. The name for the cloth passed into medieval Latin as attabi and then into French as tabis. When the word was borrowed into English as tabby in the 1600s, it only referred to a kind of silk with a wavy, mottled pattern. Before long, however, people noticed a resemblance between the cloth and the striped or mottled markings on their domestic cats. Tabby has been the name for this type of cat since then.



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