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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.
See also: dabble

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
It does not mater if the dabbler is a primary care physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopedist--you really need to see someone who treats runners.
The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (Oxygen): The Self-proclaimed "world's first supermodel" (and Sapphic dabbler) Janice Dickenson returned to Oxygen for a fourth season of the trash-tastic The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.
True, his scientific theories challenging Newton cannot be substantiated, but it would be erroneous to regard Saint-Pierre as a muddle-headed dabbler from the standpoint of posterity.
THE STORY: Cambridge lecturer and occult fanatic Dr Haddo (Callow) takes part in a science experiment that manages to transform him into the reincarnation of sleazy Victorian-age dabbler in the dark arts Aleister Crowley.
But I can be!") and the latter a pretty, rebellious drug dabbler, with a pathetic, wise-cracking, young male friend named Sid in tow to help witness things falling apart.
Luckily, my being merely a dabbler didn't hold me back.
Or was he attracted by Oregon's open initiative process, which permits any wealthy dabbler to bypass the Legislature and test-drive a political program?
He adds that "while it's healthy to have a lot of interests, being a 'dabbler' is not very satisfying." He says he would welcome the opportunity to bring his expertise to private company boards, and muses about being an adjunct professor at a university.
As a dabbler in astronomical history, I wish that Graun had left a better scholarly trail so that I could distinguish more easily between his extrapolations from solid evidence and others that were pure flights of fancy.
Although "Charlie P has a novel in him," he also claims "the novel is dead," which explains why he is merely "a dabbler in writing fiction." Charlie P is the Everyman who thinks he can write a novel but can't--a modern day Gordon Comstock, Orwell's famous antihero from Keep the Aspidistra Flying, a poet who never finds the time to write.
Otherwise, she's just one more dabbler in theatrics.
Promoting two-way communication in its fullest sense and deepest application leaves no room for the dabbler or the dilettante.
Residential real estate may no longer be the province of the bored dilettante or the part-time dabbler, but it also has not yet reached the professionalism of its commercial counterpart.
I like being the outsider, the dabbler, the amateur who can occasionally offer a new angle on old economic conversations.
The net result could have been predicted by any dabbler in psychoanalysis: The wartime prime minister carried around with him a keenly-felt need to win the approval of those he admired, and he was undeterred when the objects of his affection seemed cold or ungrateful.