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

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

in dribs and drabs

in small amounts She says she keeps getting information in dribs and drabs.
See also: and, drab, drib

in dribs and drabs

in small amounts or a few at a time We could only afford to pay the builder in dribs and drabs. The hostages have been released 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 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 ?
It's a welcome innovation too, with the dowdy drabness of the last record abandoned in favour of a breezy, 80s electronic sound.
But the computer-generated special effects in the otherworldly sections, courtesy of the digital wizards at WETA, is distracting and we yearn for a speedy return to the drabness of reality.
It was a wonderful euphoric period, despite rationing, power cuts, make do and mend etc, the drabness alleviated by the absence of war.
Not only are the days lengthening - as heralded by the birds at an increasingly early hour - but winter's drabness is starting to ebb away.
Leaving the terraced drabness of Liverpool 8 for the sweeping beaches is still a sparkling memory.
After four successive games of almost memorable drabness, suddenly Glenn Hoddle's men produced a performance that their manager described as their 'best of the season' and found themselves involved in a contest that was a joy to behold.
Rooney was the bright spark among so much drabness, and he almost embarrassed Hislop in possession and showed plenty of fight and invention, but the support from his colleagues was sadly lacking.
He once said he chose acting 'as an antidote to the drabness of my childhood'.
Kelley Deal has given up heroin and they've opted for a lo-fi back-to-basics approach between twee romanticism and artsy drabness.
Finally, when Lady Godiva was taken from her garden and put under the drabness of the canopy, all vision was gone.
So, the Express offers a tipping piece, an ante-post piece on today's Tingle Creek Chase, and drab cards (yawn); the Sun warms us with a small piece about Golan that appeared in the Racing Post the previous day, a brief tipping piece, and drab cards (yawn); The Independent at least moderated the drabness of its racing page with a competent piece by the idiosyncratic Greg Wood (soon to be transferred to The Guardian), and a report that off-course betting tax in Ireland was to be cut from five per cent to two per cent.
Moreover, ways must be found to create communal urban space capable of mitigating the drabness and dreariness of most public housing developments.
While the Mardi Gras junk aesthetic of his work persists (DeBellevue comes from Louisiana), these new pieces abjure the chromatic cheer of the pipe cleaners, inclining instead toward drabness.
In one, children collect bits of glass waste in order to "build socialism," and in another the industrial process of manufacturing glass objects is evoked in terms which ironically suggest the drabness of the process.
Its electrifying yellow flowers contradict the drabness of the hillsides along which it grows.