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

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 Did any artists inspire you to dabble in pop, without completely pivoting that way? Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 4 June 2021 Toyota continues to dabble with the trail-ready Tacoma mid-size pickup, which will introduce a new TRD Pro–exclusive color (pictured above) for the 2022 model year. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, 2 June 2021 Both Sagittarius and Pisces like a little edge play, both signs dabble in pushing limits, and the occasional pleasure of surrender. Gala Mukomolova, refinery29.com, 26 May 2021 Going back several hundred years, the great contributors to advancing our civilization tended to dabble in many disciplines and were not ultra-specialized. Richard Vedder, Forbes, 10 May 2021 For most businesses engaging in content marketing, the point is to spread the word, not directly generate revenue — but why not dabble in a bit of both? Serenity Gibbons, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Richard was an unusual signing for Merge, which does not typically dabble in mainstream pop, electronic music, or R. & B. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2021 Another way businesses can foster open innovation is by tweaking their hiring and learning and development practices to enable their employees to feel encouraged to dabble in open innovation. Nitin Rakesh, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 Bitcoin has been on a tear as institutional investors dabble in crypto as a way to boost returns on cash in a world of near-zero interest rates. Olga Kharif, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2021

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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Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dabble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dabble. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dabble



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

More from Merriam-Webster on dabble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dabble

Nglish: Translation of dabble for Spanish Speakers


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