drab

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Related to drabs: draba

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 classic literature ?
Simeon Halliday, a tall, straight, muscular man, in drab coat and pantaloons, and broad-brimmed hat, now entered.
Ay,' responded the other, a gruff elderly man, with a drab greatcoat buttoned up to the chin, and a cotton umbrella between his knees.
When the bell was rung, a head appeared between the interstices of the dining-room shutters, and the door was opened by a man in drab breeches and gaiters, with a dirty old coat, a foul old neckcloth lashed round his bristly neck, a shining bald head, a leering red face, a pair of twinkling grey eyes, and a mouth perpetually on the grin.
Negro coachmen and white; in straw hats, black hats, white hats, glazed caps, fur caps; in coats of drab, black, brown, green, blue, nankeen, striped jean and linen; and there, in that one instance
You might know them, if they were masked, by their long-tailed blue coats and bright buttons, and their drab trousers, which they wear like men well used to working dresses, who are easy in no others.
He was a short, bald old man, in a high-shouldered black coat and waistcoat, drab breeches, and long drab gaiters.
Bumble's coat as they blew open, and disclosed to great advantage his flapped waistcoat and drab plush knee-breeches.
The chests were taken out with all convenient despatch, and taken in to be unlocked by Mrs Jarley, who, attended by George and another man in velveteen shorts and a drab hat ornamented with turnpike tickets, were waiting to dispose their contents (consisting of red festoons and other ornamental devices in upholstery work) to the best advantage in the decoration of the room.
So far, all we've seen is allegation after allegation coming out in dribs and drabs.
Hughes is set to name his squad for the game tomorrow, and Hartson said: "Hopefully we can get a full-strength squad down there and not just dribs and drabs.
Particularly when Young is depicting petals, his palette can erupt from subdued drabs into fiery hues.
The benefit to the artist is he gets $8 million guaranteed and receives all the money upfront, as opposed to getting it in dribs and drabs over a 10-year period.