shabby

adjective
shab·​by | \ ˈsha-bē How to pronounce shabby (audio) \
shabbier; shabbiest

Definition of shabby

1 : clothed with worn or seedy garments a shabby hobo
2a : threadbare and faded from wear a shabby sofa
b : ill-kept : dilapidated a shabby neighborhood
3a : mean, despicable, contemptible must feel shabby … because of his compromises— Nat Hentoff
b : ungenerous, unfair laments the shabby way in which this country often treated a poet— Paul Engle
c : inferior in quality shabby reasoning

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shabby

shabbily \ ˈsha-​bə-​lē How to pronounce shabbily (audio) \ adverb
shabbiness \ ˈsha-​bē-​nəs How to pronounce shabbiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of shabby in a Sentence

The furniture was old and shabby. He wore a shabby coat. Her first apartment was pretty shabby. They complained about the shabby treatment they received at the hotel. Backing out of the deal was a shabby thing to do.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Schools and hospitals are shabby and life expectancy is low. The Economist, "How China’s government should help its backward regions," 7 June 2019 By all means, call out online distortions and lies, but deliberately exposing low-level political advocates to personal destruction is shabby and irresponsible, and more an act of political retaliation than journalism. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Daily Beast’s Shabby Scoop," 4 June 2019 Divará Divará is a pretty, shabby chic restaurant with a turquoise and white color scheme, murals on the walls, and rustic furniture. Susannah Rigg, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Mexico City," 13 Mar. 2018 But that isn't too shabby in a state that Hilary Clinton beat Donald Trump in 2016 by eight points. Fox News, "Gary Johnson: I could have power as the Senate swing vote," 17 Aug. 2018 Apollo Banana Leaf Apollo Banana Leaf is a beloved institution in this part of south London, partly because of its shabby-chic decor and so-uncool-it’s-cool vibe, and partly because of its mouthwatering food. Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Indian Restaurants in London," 27 Feb. 2018 While the shabby chic look was more feminine than modern farmhouse, the two share several traits, including distressed woods, a whitewashed palette, and vintage everything. Laura Fenton, Curbed, "How the ‘modern farmhouse’ look took over," 21 Nov. 2018 Their husbands aren’t too shabby in this category, either; Prince Harry ups a product’s desirability by 31.9 percent and Prince William does the same by 27 percent. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Is Even More Influential Than Meghan Markle in the U.S.," 1 Nov. 2018 Habitas Tulum, beTulum, Sanara and others, with ultra chic DJs and a relaxed vibe, are still setting the bar for barefoot luxury, shabby chic, and rustic luxe. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Places Our Travel Specialists Say You Should Go in 2019," 17 Dec. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of shabby

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shabby

obsolete English shab a low fellow

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shabby

Statistics for shabby

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shabby

The first known use of shabby was in 1669

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shabby

shabby

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of shabby

: in poor condition especially because of age or use
: dressed in clothes that are old and worn
informal : not fair, generous, or reasonable

shabby

adjective
shab·​by | \ ˈsha-bē How to pronounce shabby (audio) \
shabbier; shabbiest

Kids Definition of shabby

1 : faded and worn from use or wear shabby clothes
2 : in poor condition : dilapidated a shabby house
3 : dressed in worn clothes
4 : not fair or generous We received shabby treatment.

Other Words from shabby

shabbily \ ˈsha-​bə-​lē \ adverb shabbily dressed

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on shabby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shabby

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shabby

Spanish Central: Translation of shabby

Nglish: Translation of shabby for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shabby for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shabby

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

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!