drab

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Related to drably: reservedly, appealingly, bluntly, tautly

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 ?
Maybe it's the hovering rash of dark spots on the quartet he calls Hunting the Queen, or the image of a chalky, primitive hive at the bottom tier of For an Unknown Church, or the migrating scatter of drably pigmented, insectlike marks swirling around Black Mulch/Swarm, but Alphonse Borysewicz's recent abstractions (all works 1993) produce a sweetly, transcendental buzz.
Wh a t they do not wa n t is for us to go out, play drably, win 1-0 and maybe finish halfway up the table.
The Age "Next time you question Ponting's tactics, manner or motives, just think - we could always have Strauss drably leading our nation into battle.
But the off-white metal accents with which DSR has accomplished that transformation are drably incompatible with the noble travertine stone that defines Belluschi's building and Lincoln Center in general.
That, of course, would be Francisco de Goya, played rather drably here by Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard.
Delbert Mann's true-life teledrama is a drably handled affair with little sense of time or place.
Who are gauge the impact on the impressionable fourth-grader of a film like Young at Heart, 1953, a commie-color vision of total mobilization set in an immaculate Hungarian vocational-training school, at once drably institutional and eerily palatial, where waxworklike teachers engage in all manner of parades, calisthenics, and hootenannies?
He'd been living there for a while, and her sense of isolation and dislocation is nicely evoked by Frederick Elmes' drably snowy photography.
She didn't win the Miss World contest this week, but she showed us that part of Islam can exist cheek-by- jowl with the drably headscarved women and the heavily veiled.
The show ended drably with Love Is All Around, which even ten years on from its 15-week reign at the top of the charts is still the only song more annoying than Joe Pasquale's jungle rendition of 'I know a song that'll get on your nerves'.
NANNY Patsy Kensit helps young boy sort out the mystery over his mother's death in drably theatrical tele-melodrama from Canada (though everyone pretends to be American) (1995)
What they do not want is for us to go out, play drably, win 1-0 and maybe finish halfway up the table.
A woman of liberal tendencies (if she had anything like a political consciousness) who has learned to express her feelings as drably as her wardrobe is flamboyant, Cathy has two cute kids and a prominent, TV-set-salesman husband, Frank (Dennis Quaid), with a secret.