drab

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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 with 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
References in periodicals archive ?
In his work and in his bearing, Anthony was an authentic stylist, the field of Sepik studies is a drabber place without him.
Males that ingest red pigments grow bright red plumage, whereas those that ingest mostly yellow or orange pigments molt drabber plumage (Brush and Power 1976; Hill 1992).
And, although albino creatures are often more easily hunted by predators than their drabber counterparts, the Guisborough white squirrels are doing just fine.
I feel sorry for kids these days; they have to make do with a much drabber version in spite, or maybe because, of all they have.
It would make the country a drabber, greyer, bleaker place.
But the European Championships will certainly be a drabber affair from the home nations' point of view without the colourful support of the Scots, Welsh and Irish
Unfolding under almost uniformly drab skies and in even drabber rooms, Plath's life is painted in uniformly dreary shades of emotional angst and domestic distress, as if the filmmakers felt the need to give a rigidly deterministic reading to Plath's life journey.
eme] feel emptiest of all, deprived as they are of even the uneasy dreams that seem to haunt the sleepy mornings of the drabber arrondissements.
In some species, the males molt out of their dazzling breeding plumage into drabber feathers.
FORMER Big Brother star Glyn Wise reckons this year's contestants are drabber than the colourful characters he had to live with.
The ArcLight, located next to Pacific's well-known Cinerama Dome monoscreen, sits on a drabber stretch of Sunset Boulevard.
Or, as one Molineux insider put it: 'It's become darker and drabber.