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 Most dabblers become obsessed with finessing beautiful objects and seldom think about its context or consequences. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "We’re about to re-enter an office full of half-baked design prototypes," 19 May 2020 Having a few Iraq War dead-enders and dabblers in race science around keeps things fresh and interesting. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Enemies of the Truth," 27 Jan. 2020 Like many New Age dabblers in the nineteen-seventies, he was drawn to the Fourth Way—a brand of mysticism established by George Gurdjieff in the early twentieth century. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, "How Natural Wine Became a Symbol of Virtuous Consumption," 18 Nov. 2019 Goethe was a passionate geologist; Voltaire performed scientific experiments; but today, someone without specialized scientific knowledge is seen as a dabbler. Washington Post, "Neglected visionary Agnes Denes altered our landscape with her art. At 88, she’s finally getting her due.," 24 Oct. 2019 Haunts need more capital to start, maintain The latter category, the dabblers, includes another Mesa haunt, Golfland Fright Nights at Golfland Sunsplash. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Where did all the haunted houses go? In the Halloween business, only the scariest survive," 19 Oct. 2019 There are some great picks, starting with some for the dabbler −those who just want to check the bracket while concentrating on pool or darts or watch a novelty game during March Madness. Rose Kennedy, ajc, "Brackets and brews: 7 best bars for watching college basketball in Atlanta," 9 Mar. 2018 The growing phenomenon has also resulted in an array of tragedies in recent years; both in the realm of the professional and the dabbler. Fox News, "Scientists warn that 'storm chasers' are hurting research and causing danger," 5 June 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for dabbler

Time Traveler

The first known use of dabbler was in 1611

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Cite this Entry

“Dabbler.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dabbler. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on dabbler

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dabbler

Nglish: Translation of dabbler for Spanish Speakers

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