drab


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Related to drab: Drap, olive drab, DARB

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

Periodically in very small amounts; bit by bit. Information was relayed to us in dribs and drabs, but it was hours before we got the whole story of what had happened. The return on your investment will come in dribs and drabs at first, but you'll see a more steady flow of income later.
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

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 ˌdribs and ˈdrabs

(informal) in small amounts or numbers: People started arriving in dribs and drabs from nine o’clock onwards.He paid back the money in dribs and drabs.
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

dribs and drabs

Small quantities. This phrase, dating from the early nineteenth century, consists of nouns that rarely appear elsewhere. Drib, originating in the early 1700s, probably alludes to “dribble” or “trickle”; drab has meant a petty sum of money since the early 1800s.
See also: and, drab, drib
References in periodicals archive ?
"Drab Zeen," for instance, includes two versions of the World War II classic "Lili Marleen," reanimated by the sultry voice of Yasmine Hamdan.
Tory AM David Melding said the destruction of art during the Reformation meant Wales' public spaces had looked 'bleak and drab' ever since.
Banville capture the fascinating ancient history behind the city and its people, but he relates first hand the drab oppression of the recently deceased Soviet era, and the crazed new blossoming freedom of a people lost and searching the modern age for a new direction out of the fast food wilderness.
Hunter's Boat and Tote, shown in camouflage and also available in olive drab, is water-resistant, durable, and this fall's must-have.
The final section on the book is labeled "The Making of the Self-Made Man, 1750-1850." The author has relatively little to say about the self-made man's apparel--what is there to say about frock coats and drab colors?--but quite a lot to say about the ideology of masculinity in a bourgeois age.
DESK DO-OVER Convert a drab old desk into a dynamite new one that might even get you excited about doing homework!
Portland's The Thermals are destined to become indie-rock superstars, which generally means that they play drab, shoegazing, emotionally fraught music, but not so in this case.
Years of baking in the Texas sun had turned its olive drab color to a pale lime green.
Our craftsmen and technicians, with their years of restoration know-how, worked together with the state representatives, general contractor, construction manager, and the local school people as a well-organized team to transform these drab, deteriorated houses into safe, attractive places to be.
The drab, lifeless character of the photos is especially shocking given the ecological richness of Louisiana and the Mississippi River.
Finally, it is a pity that Penn made the book such a drab visual object; a considerable number of the photographs are too muddy to confirm their descriptions.
Ocean liners, the favored wartime transport chosen by the military to carry troops overseas, highlights "Dazzle & Drab: Ocean Liners At War," the first exhibition ever to chronicle the vital wartime roles these customarily luxurious vessels performed.
The researchers now argue that the unexpected success of drab birds comes from older males showing less aggression toward them than toward flashier studs.
The venue in Berlin, with the still-unrepaired Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche (the city's landmark church, which was extensively damaged during World War II), was especially interesting because of the great progress that has been made in incorporating the previously drab and depressed East Berlin into Western culture.
low-budget and visually drab, pic is mostly a series of tableaux, set first in rocky desert, then briefly in lush jungle and finally in the Vatican, where the saint begins his life work.