drab

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dribs and drabs

Insignificant, skimpy, and/or piecemeal amounts. A: "Have you been able to get any work lately?" B: "Just some dribs and drabs to keep me ticking along, but nothing substantial."
See also: and, drab, drib

in dribs and drabs

Periodically in very small amounts; bit with bit. Information was relayed to us in dribs and drabs, but it was hours before we got the whole story of what had happened. The return on your investment will come in dribs and drabs at first, but you'll see a more steady flow of income later.
See also: and, drab, drib

in dribs and drabs

in small portions; bit by bit. I'll have to pay you what I owe you in dribs and drabs. The whole story is being revealed in dribs and drabs.
See also: and, drab, drib

dribs and drabs

Bits and pieces, negligible amounts, as in There's not much left, just some dribs and drabs of samples. The noun drib is thought to be a shortening of driblet, for "drop" or "tiny quantity," dating from the early 1700s, whereas drab meaning "a small sum of money" dates from the early 1800s.
See also: and, drab, drib

in ˌdribs and ˈdrabs

(informal) in small amounts or numbers: People started arriving in dribs and drabs from nine o’clock onwards.He paid back the money in dribs and drabs.
See also: and, drab, drib

in dribs and drabs

mod. in small portions; bit by bit. I’ll have to pay you what I owe you in dribs and drabs.
See also: and, drab, drib
References in periodicals archive ?
DUBLIN is one of Europe's dirtiest, drabbest and worst managed cities, a damning survey has revealed.
Take a tip from the McFly song - a flash of colour will brighten up the drabbest locks.
Yet even in this, the drabbest of drab encounters,Coleman could still find reasons for disheartened City fans to be cheerful.
Planting up containers and hanging baskets is a simple yet effective way to add a splash of colour to even the drabbest terrace.
IF you want something really spectacular, the ornamental onion, Allium giganteum, can stretch to 6ft and add glorious colour to the drabbest of areas with its purple flower puffballs.
It's got some of the drabbest footage around (hockey training in the rain, anyone?
As is the eye-catching Cream Delight which has bright foliage that can be used to illuminate winter bedding schemes on the drabbest days of the year.
At a time when clothing was rationed and colours were muted, girls learned that a natty little scarf and a matching pair of gloves could transform the drabbest of car coats into a style statement, while some well-heeled mules could give a simple suit some movie-star chic.
It is not just down to the fact many of us are looking for an excuse to brighten up the drabbest month of the year, although admittedly that plays a large part.
You couldn't help but feel for Taylor after the drabbest of first halves when Mark Hudson conceded the craziest of own goals within two minutes of the restart.
Of 12 teams in action yesterday, only three managed to hit the target on one of the drabbest afternoons in the history of the English game.
MOTHERWELL fans got stuck into former Celtic star Neil Lennon as they desperately looked for something to enliven the the drabbest of games.
Until Mandy got caught with his well-manicured hand in the cookie jar, the forthcoming election promised to be the drabbest yet and the prospect of receiving the manifestos was looking about as exciting as lining up on Christmas Day to take delivery of presents from your two shabbiest, most unimaginative, bachelor uncles.