- To dabble is defined as to splash or dip in water, or to show a superficial interest in some hobby but never get seriously involved.
- When you dip your feet in a pool briefly and move them around, this is an example of a time when you dabble.
- When you make a half-hearted attempt to learn to knit but never finish the first scarf you started, this is an example of a time when you dabble in knitting.
- to dip lightly in and out of a liquid
- to wet by dipping, splashing, or sprinkling
Origin: Dutch dabbelen, frequentative of Middle Dutch dabben, to strike, dab
- to play in water, as with the hands
- to do something superficially, not seriously: with in or at: to dabble in art
- dabbler noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb dab·bled, dab·bling, dab·bles verb, transitive
- To splash liquid gently and playfully.
- To undertake something superficially or without serious intent: “The restaurant business entails more than . . . dabbling in interior design” (Andy Birsh).
- To bob forward and under in shallow water so as to feed off the bottom.
Origin: Possibly from Dutch dabbelen, frequentative of dabben, to strike, tap.