dab·​ble | \ ˈda-bəl How to pronounce dabble (audio) \
dabbled; dabbling\ ˈda-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce dabbling (audio) \

Definition of dabble

intransitive verb

1 : to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently especially in a secondary activity or interest dabbles in art
2a : to paddle, splash, or play in or as if in water
b : to reach with the bill to the bottom of shallow water in order to obtain food

transitive verb

: to wet by splashing or by little dips or strokes : spatter

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Examples of dabble in a Sentence

The ducks dabbled in the stream. She sat by the pool, dabbling her feet in the cool water.
Recent Examples on the Web Every now and then, Sawicki and Zaremba would travel to the Mississippi coast casinos to dabble with the slots, playing only the low-risk penny machines. Michael Dumas, al, "‘Kaz’ Zaremba lived a life in service of knowledge and compassion," 12 June 2020 Take time to dabble or experiment without committing yourself to anything permanent. oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 9, 2020: Leo, do something useful with free time; Pisces, don’t give up," 9 June 2020 Gerald Roberts, the part-timer who has worked at the reservation for a number of years, said Potonic, dabbles in woodcraft. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "A project to save woodland formed the Kopf Family Reservation in Avon Lake," 24 May 2020 Jeff dabbles in coaching at the younger levels and Marquis does some training. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Teagues helping community, themselves at The Factory, the family's training facility," 23 May 2020 The discovery bucks years of speculation that Spinosaurus simply dabbled in watery activities, wading into the shallows to hunt before quickly retreating back ashore. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Groundbreaking Fossil Suggests Spinosaurus Is First Known Swimming Dinosaur," 30 Apr. 2020 McMahon, a wrestling mogul and the face of the WWE brand, has twice dabbled in trying to build an alternative to the National Football League in the past 20 years — both times with lackluster results. Neil Vigdor, New York Times, "Former Head of XFL Sues Its Controlling Owner," 11 Apr. 2020 The show has always dabbled in dog humor, but the past several seasons have seen a sharp uptick in puppy performers. Washington Post, "Dogs are the new stars of SNL. Here are the goodest boys.," 19 Nov. 2019 Keyshia Cole hasn’t dabbled in reality TV since her short stint on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Watch This Exclusive Sneak Peek For Keyshia Cole's 'My New Life' Baby Special On BET," 11 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dabble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dabble

1557, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for dabble

perhaps frequentative of dab entry 2

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Time Traveler for dabble

Time Traveler

The first known use of dabble was in 1557

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Statistics for dabble

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dabble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dabble. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dabble


How to pronounce dabble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dabble

: to take part in an activity in a way that is not serious
: to play or move around in water


dab·​ble | \ ˈda-bəl How to pronounce dabble (audio) \
dabbled; dabbling

Kids Definition of dabble

1 : to wet by splashing : spatter
2 : to paddle or play in or as if in water Ducks dabbled in the pond.
3 : to work without any deep involvement I just dabble with art.

Other Words from dabble

dabbler \ ˈda-​blər \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on dabble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dabble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dabble

Spanish Central: Translation of dabble

Nglish: Translation of dabble for Spanish Speakers

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