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dabble at (something)

To do something without much effort or enthusiasm. I know you're just dabbling at cleaning your room because every pile of clothes is still on the floor. We didn't get much done because we just dabbled at the project all afternoon.
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dabble in (something)

To do something sporadically or as a hobby. Oh, I only dabbled in painting when I was younger—it's not like I went to art school or anything.
See also: dabble

dabble at something

to play at doing something; to do something halfheartedly. Don't just dabble at your history paper. Settle down and do it right. She dabbles at painting.
See also: dabble

dabble in something

to be involved in something in a casual manner. She dabbled in local politics for a while. I want to dabble in something new for a while.
See also: dabble

dabble in

To do some activity occasionally, superficially, or without ambition: I've dabbled in painting, but I'm not very good.
See also: dabble
References in periodicals archive ?
I've seen my own mother do it, and I look at her and how she dabbled in school and how she managed raising her children, and I don't think I'm ready for it.
Summary: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dabbled in illicit drugs in his youth and alienated colleagues, FBI interviews reveal.
According to public relations guru Max Clifford, a London based tabloid newspaper was preparing to tell the story of how the 28-year-old mezzo soprano dabbled with cocaine and Ecstasy before she hit the big time.
As for Men in Trees, Heche says she dabbled in series TV (such as Everwood) before diving into a leading role.
Auden's "low dishonest decade," during which the best dabbled in free love and socialism while the worst busied themselves getting fascism off the ground.
Al Franken dabbled in political subject matter as a writer and performer during two lengthy stints on Saturday Night Live, as well as on his short-lived NBC sitcom, LateLine.
Those dreams died the day he dabbled in this evil drug.
In addition to painting works of art, these two extraordinary men dabbled in something you've probably done several times in your art classes: cut-paper collage.
The fact that this man dabbled in homosexuality and wife-swapping seems to be no impediment to critical acclaim,.
It was in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, just over 50 years ago that Murdoch, fresh from Oxford University (where he dabbled in left-wing politics) began his career after his father's unexpected death.
As people dabbled, they came up with a handful of names for the odd structures, including "negative bubbles" and "inverted bubbles.
Schwarzenegger, 56, has a well-known bio: an immigrant bodybuilder who became a Hollywood action hero as well as a businessman who, before 2003, had only dabbled in politics.
Goldstein even dabbled in Libertarian politics in New York and Miami.
Oliver said his lather had dabbled in metalcasting a little bit, casting lead fishing sinkers.
Nobody dabbled more egregiously this past season than the French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, whose Helikopter took my annual prize for noise pollution.