dab·​bler | \ ˈda-b(ə-)lər How to pronounce dabbler (audio) \

Definition of dabbler

: one that dabbles: such as
a : one not deeply engaged in or concerned with something
b : a duck (such as a mallard or shoveler) that feeds by dabbling

called also dabbling duck, puddle duck, river duck

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of dabbler in a Sentence

he was a dabbler, learning the basics of many arts but mastering none

Recent Examples on the Web

Set in 1906 and inspired by actual events (liberally sauced with myth and legend), the story centers on the eccentric Sarah Winchester (Ms. Mirren, grimly determined), heiress to the rifle fortune and eager dabbler in architecture and spiritualism. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: ‘Winchester’ Has a Grim Helen Mirren. And a Silly Script.," 2 Feb. 2018 As with many art manifestoes, dabblers were separated from the rigorous, the serious art from the kitsch. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "Shimmery bacteria plus a canvas equals art, briefly," 26 Jan. 2018 Luckily Facebook is out there on the cutting edge, posting puzzles to encourage dabblers in the burgeoning field of computational erotics. Annalee Newitz, WIRED, "Valentine’s Day Word Problem for the Polyamorous," 8 Feb. 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dabbler.' 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 dabbler

1611, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of dabbler was in 1611

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More from Merriam-Webster on dabbler

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dabbler

Spanish Central: Translation of dabbler

Nglish: Translation of dabbler for Spanish Speakers

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a tendency to relapse

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