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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 ?
Indeed, the West must also realize that their dabbling in Nepali politics to the point of competing with the neighborhood will not serve them ultimately but it is the Nepali politicians that must impress this.
San Francisco: Facebook has confirmed it was dabbling with charging members as much as $100 to get messages to the inboxes of strangers such as social network co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg.
"I have been binge-drinking heavily and dabbling in other daft and silly things but it is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I'm here to win it."
When you hear dabbling's siren song, lash yourself to the mast of reason and contemplate how quickly Top Client will pull her corporate work if your firm mishandles her divorce.
With all these choices, is it any wonder that people are dabbling in a variety of classes?
Reichs is becoming a serious writer and not just an expert dabbling in storytelling.
Let's hope that having seen what has happened to her brother she'll be even more careful about dabbling with surgery?
And speculators--those dabbling in oil futures--make a killing as preemption of its use keeps prices at record levels.
She says there will be no more 'dabbling' in areas of the law which C&L is unfamiliar.
Congress is still dabbling with the federal Head Start program and is already getting unhappy reviews.
("Reny Fleur," aka Matthew Licht, celebrated Currin's mammary madness in Juggs magazine.) Alongside this sickish thematic evolves Currin's increasingly pronounced dabbling in the art-historical warehouse.
Brazil is turning up the heat in its search to turn ordinary foods like sugar and soybeans, even hydrogen, into fuel for a growing economy, while Argentina and Mexico are dabbling in ways to put more drivers behind the wheel of cars fueled by cleaner-burning--and cheaper--natural gas.
Being an actor and director and dabbling in politics do not imbue you with the powers of persuasion that a full-time historian and thinker can bring to the table.
As a college student, dabbling with applique and stitching banners by hand for her sorority eventually piqued her creative senses.
MORE young people are dabbling with cocaine because there are so many scare stories about ecstasy, a leading drug charity claimed yesterday.