\ˈdȯb, ˈdäb\

Definition of daub 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover or coat with soft adhesive matter : plaster

2 : to coat with a dirty substance

3a : to apply coloring material crudely to

b : to apply (something, such as paint) crudely

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to put on a false exterior

2 : to apply colors crudely



Definition of daub (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : material used to daub walls

2 : an act or instance of daubing

3 : something daubed on : smear

4 : a crude picture

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Other Words from daub


dauber noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for daub

Synonyms: Verb

befoul, begrime, bemire, besmirch, blacken, dirty, distain [archaic], foul, gaum [dialect], grime, mire, muck, muddy, smirch, smudge, soil, stain, sully

Antonyms: Verb

clean, cleanse

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Examples of daub in a Sentence


He daubed some cologne on his neck. Daub the potatoes with a little butter. Various political slogans had been daubed on the walls. He sighed deeply and daubed his eyes with a tissue.


She added a few daubs of color to the painting.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nuns used their blood to daub crosses on a missile silo in Colorado. The Economist, "Secrets and lies of the nuclear age," 7 June 2018 But as Marine One thundered into the London sky later that evening, gathered below were several hundred protesters armed with pots, pans, drums, horns, whistles, megaphones and placards daubed with messages of varying profanity. Alexander Smith /, NBC News, "Trump in Britain: President faces dozens of protests across U.K.," 13 July 2018 Huge metal security fences are erected along sidewalks daubed with outsized yellow feet for guiding visitors to some of the 2 sq. Time, "Singapore's Sentosa Island Takes an Unlikely Geopolitical Role as Host of the Trump-Kim Summit," 11 June 2018 It also may be eaten straight, daubed on rice or anointing slices of green mango. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Filipino Food Finds a Place in the American Mainstream," 12 Mar. 2018 There is no swarm of assistants daubing giant canvases. Mark Rozzo, Vanities, "Ed Ruscha Still Has Plenty More to Say About America," 30 May 2018 Nature’s paintbrush had daubed the branches of the trees along East-West Highway, creating a scenic tableau, each element of which was eager for my attention. John Kelly, Washington Post, "In spring, a middle-aged man’s fancy turns to blossoms and batteries," 29 Apr. 2018 McGarry and a few sous chefs—wearing, curiously, black berets—stand around an island in the back of the dining room, each carefully daubing sauce onto a plate or gently rubbing the back of a spoon to release a perfect quenelle of ice cream. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "A Nineteen-Year-Old Chef Masters the Rules of Fine Dining," 12 Apr. 2018 Makeup artist Hung Vanngo opted to turn the evening's collective lean toward carmine on its head, daubing Ratajkowski's pout with a shimmery pink nude that kept the focus on her high-impact eyes. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski Proves Why the Best Golden Globes Makeup Happens at the After-Party," 8 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Silk cords dangle from one painting; another, on red velvet, entails big daubs of concrete. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Japanese Gutai in the 1950s: Fast and Fearless," 14 June 2018 Later, the performers elicited daubs of tone from conventional instruments, as if translating those found objects into spectral music. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Sonic Fury of the Ojai Music Festival," 24 June 2018 To lessen a scratch, daub on a tiny amount of rubbing alcohol and buff gently. Heloise, Houston Chronicle, "Butter versus margarine," 20 June 2018 The apples of the cheeks received a daub of Blush in Nude. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pat McGrath's Enchanting Makeup at Dolce & Gabbana," 24 Feb. 2014 Each daub can seem to record a discrete look, at a moment isolated in time. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The Lurchingly Uneven Portraits of Paul Cézanne," 21 Feb. 2011 That look called for a striking new hairdo (by Lauren Philippon) and a daub of high-glamour maquillage (by Naoko Scintu and Nelly Ferreira). Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Brings High Drama to Dior’s Masked Ball," 23 Jan. 2018 Every sandwich has a base of Cuban bread, soft and airy from a daub of lard in the dough, buttered on both sides and then buttered again mid-grilling. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "Cooking, Inspired by Grandma, at My Cuban Spot in Brooklyn," 5 Oct. 2017 Among them is the artist’s casual habit of cleaning his paintbrushes on the flip side of the canvas, leaving spatters and daubs. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, "How to Hang a 28-Foot-Tall Masterpiece," 24 July 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for daub


Middle English, from Anglo-French dauber

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Statistics for daub

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for daub

The first known use of daub was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for daub



English Language Learners Definition of daub

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to put something on something with quick, small motions

: to write (something) on a surface

: to lightly touch (something) usually with quick, small motions



English Language Learners Definition of daub (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small amount of something


\ˈdȯb \
daubed; daubing

Kids Definition of daub

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cover with something soft and sticky I daubed the wound with ointment.



Kids Definition of daub (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small amount of something The child left daubs of paint on the easel.

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More from Merriam-Webster on daub

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for daub

Spanish Central: Translation of daub

Nglish: Translation of daub for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of daub for Arabic Speakers

Comments on daub

What made you want to look up daub? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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