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Dab   /dæb/   Listen
Dab

verb
(past & past part. dabbed; pres. part. dabbing)
1.
Apply (usually a liquid) to a surface.  Synonyms: swab, swob.
2.
Hit lightly.  Synonym: pat.



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"Dab" Quotes from Famous Books



... so far, by help of our first example, in the etymology of our entire class, as to rest in the easily memorable root 'dab,' short for dabble, as the foundation of comprehensive nomenclature. But the earlier (if not Aryan!) root 'dip,' must be taken good heed to, also, because, as we further study the customs of aquatic chickens, we shall find that they really mass themselves under the three great heads ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... I'm shorely out thar four hours; an' when Spanish Bill discovers me I'm mighty near froze. Taos nights in November has a heap of things in common with them Artic regions we hears of, where them fur-lined sports goes in pursoot of that North Pole. Bein' froze, an' mebby from an over-dab of nose-paint, I never saveys about this yere Spanish Bill meetin' up with me that a-way ontil later. But by what the barkeep says, he drug me into the Tub of Blood an' allows he's got ...
— Wolfville • Alfred Henry Lewis

... silk necktie, dripping, from the bottom of the jar. "That's sucked up the very last drop, sir. Hold still, sir, and let me lay this just on the top, and as soon as you begins to feel it too warm I will take it away and hang it up to dry. I won't dab the place with the handkerchy, because it will feel cooler if you let it ...
— Trapped by Malays - A Tale of Bayonet and Kris • George Manville Fenn

... load of wood. He was a man of the world, and knew all about the performance. After he had looked at the sketch, the children, and finally the mother, all came round my stool and had a good long look at my work. Even so the mother would not let the children dab their toes into my paints, or generally become a nuisance. For this unexpected manifestation of a sense of the fitness of things, I felt grateful to her, and, before I went away, found a way of recompensing the children for the sorrow they must ...
— A Visit to Java - With an Account of the Founding of Singapore • W. Basil Worsfold

... you going to do, Nurse Jane?" asked Uncle Wiggily Longears, the rabbit gentleman, as he saw the muskrat lady housekeeper going out in the kitchen one morning, with an apron on, and a dab of white flour on ...
— Uncle Wiggily and Old Mother Hubbard - Adventures of the Rabbit Gentleman with the Mother Goose Characters • Howard R. Garis

... we are good packers. We put a lot in 'em) I could be terribly funny, if only women were going to read this. They'd understand. They know all about men. They'd go up-stairs and put on a negligee and get six baby pillows and dab a little cold cream around their eyes and then lie down on the couch and read, and they would all think I must ...
— 'Oh, Well, You Know How Women Are!' AND 'Isn't That Just Like a Man!' • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... and frank in my reflections anent the death of the bailie, because, poor man, he had outlived the times for which he was qualified; and, instead of the merriment and jocularity that his wily by- hand ways used to cause among his neighbours, the rising generation began to pick and dab at him, in such a manner, that, had he been much longer spared, it is to be feared he would not have been allowed to enjoy his earnings both with ease and honour. However, he got out of the world with some respect, and the matters of which I have now to speak, ...
— The Provost • John Galt

... potatoes into slices of equal thickness, say the thickness of two penny pieces; and as they are cut out of hand, let them be dropped into a pan of cold water. When about to fry the potatoes, first drain them on a clean cloth, and dab them all over, in order to absorb all moisture; while this has been going on, you will have made some kind of fat (entirely free from water or gravy, such as lard, for instance) very hot in a frying-pan, and into this drop your prepared potatoes, only a good handful at a time; as, ...
— A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes • Charles Elme Francatelli

... the subject of fritters. When will English housekeepers grasp the idea of frying? They cannot get beyond a dab of grease or butter in a frying-pan. The bath of boiling oil seems to be beyond them, or at any rate a degree of civilisation that has not yet passed beyond the limit of the fried-fish shop. The oil will do over and over again, and in the end is undoubtedly cheaper than the dab of grease ...
— Cassell's Vegetarian Cookery - A Manual Of Cheap And Wholesome Diet • A. G. Payne

... comforting assurance over and over repeated that "by an' by we'll go an' see dem, safe in de promis' lan'." Long as it was, the song was much too short for Big Black Burl, as indeed was every song that he sung. But being a "dab" at improvising words, as well as music, he could easily spin out his melodies to any length he pleased. So, on getting to the end of his hymn, ignoring the fact, he went right on ad libitum until he had sent up, in some manner, scriptural or not, or from some locality, ...
— Burl • Morrison Heady

... Girl was slipping matronly looking rings on her fingers and adding an extra dab of powder. She took another chocolate, hugged Monster, gave orders about sending back the lingerie, remarked that she must send her photograph to the society editor for the next day's edition, and she ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [Frederick FUNG Kin-kee, chairman]; Citizens Party [Alex CHAN Kai-chung]; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong or DAB [MA Lik, chairman]; Democratic Party [LEE Wing-tat, chairman]; Frontier Party [Emily LAU Wai-hing, chairwoman]; Liberal Party [James TIEN Pei-chun, chairman] note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, Democratic Party, Frontier Party; pro-Beijing ...
— The 2004 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... She never shrank. She was apparently never wounded. She seldom showed that any subject jarred on her. It is affirmed that animals develop certain organs to meet the exigencies of their environment. A sole's eye (or is it a sand-dab's?) travels up round its head regardless of appearances when it finds it is more wanted there than on the lower side. We often see a similar distortion in the mental features of the wives of literary men. So perhaps also Magdalen had adapted herself to the Bellairs' environment, ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... head of Porter's. His instructor would stand over him and tell him in a dozen words just exactly what entries to make in a customer's passbook. Porter would stare into oblivion during the lesson and when it was done make a dab at his ink-pot, enter up a cheque as credit, cross it out and make it a debit, then reverse the entry—all before Watson could interfere. The Bonehead was not slow; in fact, he was too rapid—but his swiftness was a serious detriment since the direction taken was usually wrong. Porter acted on ...
— A Canadian Bankclerk • J. P. Buschlen

... said Williams with a superior grin. 'Not with these 'ere modern craft. They works with horizontal rudders, sort o' fins along the side. Blime, G 2 can pop up and down mighty nigh as quick as a dab chick.' ...
— On Land And Sea At The Dardanelles • Thomas Charles Bridges

... through and into everything. When a man descends at Voi for dinner he finds his fellow-travellers have changed complexion. The pale clerk from indoor Mombasa has put on a fine healthy sunburn; and the company in general present a rich out-of-doors bloom. A chance dab with a white napkin comes away like fresh ...
— African Camp Fires • Stewart Edward White

... jotting down notes; Landy Spencer sat quietly, his face immobile; Adine Lough went to the window ostensibly to dab on make-up, but really to suppress smiles and stifle laughter. A man of importance—a bank receiver, an arm of the court—was being kidded and he didn't ...
— David Lannarck, Midget - An Adventure Story • George S. Harney

... 'A joke is a joke, if it tante carried too far, but this critter win be strangled, as sure as a gun, if he lays here splutterin' this way much longer.' So I jist gives the hoss a dab in the mouth, and made him git up; and then sais I, 'Prince,' sais I, for I know'd him by his beard, he had one exactly like one of the old saint's heads in an Eyetalian pictur, all dressed to a pint, so ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... The hotel where they all stopped was very primitive, and he had the same table with the judge. The most attractive offer for breakfast by the landlady was buckwheat-cakes. She appeared with a jug of molasses and said to the judge: "Will you have a trickle or a dab?" The judge answered: "A dab." She then ran her fingers around the jug and slapped a huge amount of molasses on the judge's cakes. Storrs said: "I think I prefer a trickle." Whereupon she dipped her fingers again in the jug and let the drops fall from them on Storrs's cakes. The landlady ...
— My Memories of Eighty Years • Chauncey M. Depew

... a gaunt young person, with a determined and manly air. She struck him, on the contrary, as being extremely girlish and charming to look upon. She wore the pale pink gown; and as he entered he saw her give a furtive little dab to her eyes with a lace handkerchief, and hurriedly crush an open letter into her pocket. Then, seeming to dismiss her emotion with enviable facility, she ...
— A Fair Barbarian • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... less noble youth would have ventured upon. "Come, don't keep us all in suspense. I must hear you, don't you know; all the other fellows have heard you. So, please, get over the preliminaries, and let's come to the music. I'm awfully fond of music, especially singing. I'm a dab at ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... her charity aided her. The result was that she was most hideously pock-marked. Furthermore, the disease cost her an eye, leaving a cavity, a gaping and unsightly wound, comparable to the dumplings called kuzumanju, white puffy masses of rice dough with a depression in the centre marked by a dab of the dark-brown bean paste. The neighbours used to say that O'Mino was nin san bake shichi—that is, three parts human and seven parts apparition. The more critical reduced her humanity to the factor one. The children ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... by the sight of the volume you mention. Don't mind the epigrams you transcribe on my father. I have been inured to abuse on him from my birth. It is not a quarter of an hour ago since, cutting the leaves of a new dab called Anecdotes of Polite Literature, I found myself abused for having defended my father. I don't know the author, and suppose I never shall, for I find Glover's Leonidas is one of the things ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... a pot of rice often enough to prevent it from burning, and trying to rustle sufficient dry wood to keep the fire going. This diversity of interests certainly made him sit up and pay attention. At each instant he had to desert his flour-sack to rescue the coffee-pot, or to shift the kettle, or to dab hastily at the rice, or to stamp out the small brush, or to pile on more dry twigs. His movements were not graceful. They raised a scurry of dry bark, ashes, wood dust, twigs, leaves, and pine needles, a certain proportion of which found their way into the coffee, ...
— The Forest • Stewart Edward White

... bit as well handled as the great steamship, but then she had got home safely, and she was such a little thing, after all. Whatever excitement there had been in the village died out as soon as it was known that the boys were safe; and then, too, Mrs. Lee found time to "wonder wot Dab Kinzer means to do wid all de money he done got for ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, September 1878, No. 11 • Various

... father, "just move your tusk a little nearer, please, and I'll show you how to begin." My father wet the brush in the pool, squeezed on a dab of tooth paste, and scrubbed very hard in one tiny spot. Then he told the rhinoceros to wash it off, and when the pool was calm again, he told the rhinoceros to look in the water and see how white the little spot was. It was hard to see in the dim light of the jungle, ...
— My Father's Dragon • Ruth Stiles Gannett

... come." he cried. "Say, hurry up, Joe, we're all waiting. Come on!" His nose was quite bloody, and a dab here and there on his countenance gave him anything but a ...
— Five Little Peppers and their Friends • Margaret Sidney

... girl turned toward the doorway, the person in question appeared in it, and raised her veil. I was perfectly paralyzed. It was Bella! Bella in a fur coat and a veil, with the most tragic eyes I ever saw and entirely white except for a dab of rouge in the middle of each cheek. We stared at each other without speech. The maid turned and went down the hall, and with that Bella came over to me and clutched me by ...
— When a Man Marries • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... dab, sah. Dat shop close up. He not wukkin, dis week, and dat why fo' I jaw him jus' now when you come in an' stop him. He de cahpentah, my gran'son, ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... to have utilized any but fresh-water fish, the Scandinavians, at a date probably less remote however, did not hesitate to brave the ocean. The kitchen-middings contain numerous remains of fish, amongst which those of the mackerel, the dab, and the herring are the most numerous. There, too, we meet with relics of the cod, which never approaches the coast, and must always be sought by the fisherman in the ...
— Manners and Monuments of Prehistoric Peoples • The Marquis de Nadaillac

... see, Patch, he was a fool. Well, after a while he began to feel very lonely. He'd no relations, and what friends he'd had in the old days had disappeared. So he got him a dog—this fool, a little white scrap of a dog with a black patch." The terrier recognized his name and made a dab at the firm chin. "Steady! Well, yes—you're right. It was a great move. For the little white dog was really a fairy prince in disguise—such a pretty disguise—and straightway led the fool into Paradise. Indeed, they were so happy together, the fool and the ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... once brought to understand that they are men,—not beasts! One will take a few words and harmonize them into a song or a verse that clings to the world for ever; another will mix a few paints and dab a brush in them, and give you a picture that generation after generation shall flock to see. It is what is called genius,—and genius is a sort of miracle. Yet I think it is fostered by climate a good deal,—the further north, the less inspiration. ...
— Thelma • Marie Corelli

... well-brought-up and industrious young man was Hamilton Morris, and he had not the least idea of the good in store for him for several months after Mrs. Kinzer decided to marry him to her daughter Miranda; but all was soon settled. Dab, of course, had nothing to do with the wedding arrangements, and Ham's share was somewhat contracted. Not but what he was at the Kinzer house a good deal; nor did any of the other girls tell Miranda how very much he was in the way. He could talk, however; and one morning, about a fortnight ...
— Dab Kinzer - A Story of a Growing Boy • William O. Stoddard

... on a low chair by the kitchen fire, with a lapstone, a hammer, a piece of sole leather, and some waxed-ends, in order to cobble an old pair of cowhide boots; he being, in his own phrase, "something of a dab" (whatever degree of skill that may imply) at the shoemaking business. We heard the tap of his hammer at intervals for the rest of the evening. The remainder of the party adjourned to the sitting-room. Good Mrs. Foster took ...
— The Blithedale Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... murmurs and ejaculations from the circle of wondering ladies, while Miss Bonkowski, a frowzy-headed lady in soiled shirt waist and shabby skirt, with a small waist and shoulders disproportionately broad; and with, moreover, a dab of paint upon each high-boned cheek,—nothing daunted by previous failures, leaned forward and putting a somewhat soiled finger beneath the child's pretty chin, inquired persuasively, "And isn't the darling going to tell its Norma ...
— The Angel of the Tenement • George Madden Martin

... are miserable until you get back again. On one bank stretches a row of rookeries—a maze of hanging clothes, fish-nets, balconies hooded by awnings and topped by nondescript chimneys of all sizes and patterns, with here and there a dab of vermilion and light red, the whole brilliant against a china-blue sky. On the other is the long brick wall of the garden—soggy, begrimed, streaked with moss and lichen in bands of black-green and yellow ochre, ...
— Outdoor Sketching - Four Talks Given before the Art Institute of Chicago; The Scammon Lectures, 1914 • Francis Hopkinson Smith

... moosician, as you may say, but I was a dab at the Jew's-harp once, and I've got a very tidy flootina 'cordion now; only I ain't ...
— The Queen's Scarlet - The Adventures and Misadventures of Sir Richard Frayne • George Manville Fenn

... insincere. Weakness was written all over him, from a derby hat sitting back rakishly on his forehead to the small, effeminate boot that fitted so neatly his small effeminate foot. He had a small hand and his little sensual face had not a rough feature on it. It was set off by a pudgy, half-formed dab of a nose that let his breath in and out when his mouth happened to be shut. His eyes were the eyes of one who ...
— The Bishop of Cottontown - A Story of the Southern Cotton Mills • John Trotwood Moore

... arrowroot, taking care not to have more than just enough to cover it without leaving any patches. Place it gently on the cardboard, holding it for the purpose by two opposite angles, and with a silk handkerchief dab it gently, beginning in the middle, and work any little superfluity of the paste towards the edges, when it will be gradually pressed out. The whole may be placed in a press, or under a pile ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 232, April 8, 1854 • Various

... do—and she's sure to feel a guy. And if she feels a guy, she's going to look it. Why, it took those two girls just six minutes to transfer that goddess rig from Miss Preston to Miss Townsend. She didn't have time to powder, and she didn't have time to dab on paint, and, besides, she had had no rehearsals. That's why she was ...
— The Mermaid of Druid Lake and Other Stories • Charles Weathers Bump

... confinement a woman was not supposed to rub the sweat from her face. She might dab the sweat off, but to rub it would cause her to be wrinkled in her old age. One informant assured me that this was the truth and pointed to her own relatively ...
— Washo Religion • James F. Downs

... Fred, laughing a little. "Don't you palm off any luncheon on us! That sounds like a dab of salad and a dab of sauce and two peas in a platter and a prayer for dinner to hurry up and come around! Cook us some grub, old girl—lots of it. Coffee and bacon and flour gravy and spuds. We'd rather wait a few minutes longer and get a square meal, ...
— The Lookout Man • B. M. Bower

... me! Say, didn't I make a mess of it this afternoon? I got about ten yards off the beach and just had to give up and pull back—and pull hard. Blessed if I didn't begin to wonder once if I'd make it! The fact is, Joel, I'm an awful dab at swimming. And I ought to be punched for letting you ...
— The Half-Back • Ralph Henry Barbour

... training for the law, A dunce at syntax, but a dab at law, One happy christmas laid upon the shelf His cap and gown, and stores of learned pelf. With all the deathless bards of Greece and Rome, To spend a fortnight at his uncle's home. Arriv'd, and pass'd the usual how d'ye do's, Inquiries ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... the metal shoes, and spread thin over as many canoe paddles as can be obtained for the purpose. Immerse the whole suddenly in the river and dry before a quick fire. Add one boat's rudder and twenty-four dab-chicks, and season with three yards of grated swans' necks, six barbel, four dace and a dozen gudgeon, close time for these fish being strictly observed. Sprinkle with cowslips and willow leaves, insert in a pie-dish ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, May 16, 1917. • Various

... Abbott had not risen in gentle alarm and begun to teeter around, Kenny in an interval of frantic excitement would not have been forced to fish him out of the stream by his coattails. He considered always that he saved the old man's life. Nor had he meant to dab at him with the oar, thereby encouraging the unfortunate old chap to duck and misinterpret his obvious ...
— Kenny • Leona Dalrymple

... Judy," she complained as that indefatigable artist sat on the beach with her easel before her, in a blue work-apron, and with a dab of ...
— Judy • Temple Bailey

... I do not forgive it to the great Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, who professes he studied it. I dare swear you will sincerely believe him when you read his celebrated works. I have got them for you, and intend to bring them. Oime! l'huomo. propone, Dio dispone. I hope you won't think this dab of Italian, that slid involuntarily from my pen, an affectation like his Gallicisms, or a rebellion against Providence, in imitation of his lordship, who I never saw but once in my life: he then appeared in a corner of the drawing-room, in the exact similitude of Satan when he was soliciting the ...
— Lady Mary Wortley Montague - Her Life and Letters (1689-1762) • Lewis Melville

... referrin' to no books, by the light of Nature.' And next day we had a set-to with the gloves, and his verdict was 'Only just short of professional.' Those boys were delighted. I wonder how and when I became such a dab at it?" ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... dabbing his fat head for some time— and it smokes to such an extent that he seems to light his pocket- handkerchief at it, which smokes, too, after every dab—"to pursue the subject we are endeavouring with our lowly gifts to improve, let us in a spirit of love inquire what is that Terewth to which I have alluded. For, my young friends," suddenly addressing the ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... "ain't I the awful thing? Not a rat or a puff or a dab of rouge allowed in these here premises. I do look a sight—a fright. Gee!" She turned. "You're not so worse. ...
— The Nine-Tenths • James Oppenheim

... you say he is all right," answered the man, smiling as he put the least tiny dab more of varnish on the Donkey's back. "Shall I set him on the shelf to dry, so you may soon take him down to Earth for some lucky ...
— The Story of a Nodding Donkey • Laura Lee Hope

... pointing to the pumpkin, "there is the 'arth, and here is the tar-pot—just mark down the position of your island of Leaphigh, if you please, according to the best accounts your academy has of the matter. Make a dab here and there, if you happen to know of any rocks and shoals. After that, you can lay down the island where you were captured, giving a general idee of its headlands and of the ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... fainted," Dixie said, calmly, "but we won't argue about it. I'll tell you one thing, though, Sam Pitman, if this thing goes on—I say, if Joe is overworked like this any more—a single other time—and it comes to my knowledge, I'll take you smack-dab to court. I don't meddle in things that don't concern me, as a general thing, but I'll take this in hand and I'll ...
— Dixie Hart • Will N. Harben

... And again, 'As to my meals, I can say that I was always careful to see that no one else would take a thing before I served myself; and I believe as to the kind of my food, a bit of cold endings of a dab at breakfast, and a scrap of mackerel at dinner, are the only things that diverged from the strict rule of simplicity.' 'I am obliged to confess,' he notes, 'that in my intercourse with the Supreme Being, I am be come more and more sluggish.' And then he exclaims: 'Thine ...
— Eminent Victorians • Lytton Strachey

... the packing case, "is a saloon pistol, and will be exhibited in the museums of the next century as being the weapon with which the new era was inaugurated. Into the breech I place a Boxer cartridge, specialty provided for experimental purposes with a steel bullet. I aim point blank at the dab of red sealing wax upon the wall, which is four inches above the magnet. I am an absolutely dead shot. I fire. You will now advance, and satisfy yourself that the bullet is flattened upon the end of the magnet, after which you will apologise to me ...
— The Stark Munro Letters • J. Stark Munro

... hooded women, heads of Artemis with the crown of Cybele, winged heads, or heads covered with the Phrygian cap, portrait-heads of girls or children, with their sharp profiles still perfect, and the last dab of the clay under the thumb of the artist, as clear and clean as when it was laid ...
— Eleanor • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... to let them pass. The old cattleman's high-crowned sombrero was pinched to a peak; the wind of his galloping gait had pressed its broad brim back from his tough old weathered face. His white mustache and little dab of pointed beard seemed whiter against the darkness of passion which mounted to ...
— The Rustler of Wind River • G. W. Ogden

... LAMB is good, and so is Thackeray, And so's Jane Austen in her pretty way; Charles Dickens, too, has pleased me quite a lot, As also have both Stevenson and Scott. I like Dumas and Balzac, and I think Lord Byron quite a dab at spreading ink; But on the whole, at home, across the sea, The author I ...
— Cobwebs from a Library Corner • John Kendrick Bangs

... reproachful-looking than sympathetic, as though I hadn't ordered that dressing-case specially on his behalf. He said he thought one of the housemaids would have some sticking-plaster. He was very sorry he was needed downstairs, but he would tell one of the housemaids. I continued to dab and to curse. The blood flowed less. I showed great spirit. I vowed Braxton should not prevent me from going down ...
— Seven Men • Max Beerbohm

... a dab at cricket; I depict her at the wicket. L ook how tight her bat she's grasping, L eaving all the fielders gasping! I have done this sketch in woggles, E specially to ...
— The New Girl at St. Chad's - A Story of School Life • Angela Brazil

... have been duly honoured, there begins a scene of boisterous fun. The women make pads of the boiled sticky new rice, and cover it with soot from their cooking vessels. With these they approach the men and dab the pads upon their faces and bodies, leaving sooty marks that are not easily removed. The men thus challenged give chase, and attempt to get possession of the rice pads and to return the polite attention. For a short space of time a certain license prevails among the ...
— The Pagan Tribes of Borneo • Charles Hose and William McDougall

... of which every one welcomed with the profoundest relief. He was the regimental medical officer, a tall, slight man, with a keen eye, a pleasant face crowned by a topknot of flaming hair, and with a little dab of hair of like colour upon his upper lip, which he fondly cherished, as an important ...
— The Sky Pilot in No Man's Land • Ralph Connor

... part, full of growth of the most dazzling green. Now he neared the insect; now it dashed off again, and led him a tremendous chase, till, just as the doctor shouted to him to return, we saw him make a dab down with his ...
— Bunyip Land - A Story of Adventure in New Guinea • George Manville Fenn

... mouths, or as smooth and vacuous as chestnuts, little sailors and apparitions in white, obviously enjoying their employment. During this not a word was exchanged; except for the shuffling feet, the piano, an occasional phrase of encouragement from the instructor, himself gliding with a dab of fat in exaggerated ribbons, there wasn't a sound. To Lee it had the appearance of the negation of pleasure; it was, in its way, as bad as the determined dancing of adults; it had the look of a travesty of that. Helena conducted a restive partner, trying ...
— Cytherea • Joseph Hergesheimer

... contrary to his habit to finish at one painting, and he used to say that a poet who improvises cannot hope to form pure verses." He would often produce a half-light with a rub of his finger, "or with a touch of the thumb he would dab a spot of dark pigment into some corner to strengthen it; or throw in a reddish stroke—a tear of blood so to speak—to break the parts ... in fact when finishing he painted more with his fingers than with his brush." ...
— Pictures Every Child Should Know • Dolores Bacon

... feast, Ay, nor feel queasy." Oh, such a life as he resolved to live, When he had learned it, When he had gathered all books had to give! Sooner, he spurned it. Image the whole, then execute the parts— Fancy the fabric Quite, ere you build, ere steel strike fire from quartz, Ere mortar dab brick! ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... college age: Thomas Edison, Michael Faraday, Nicholai Tesla, James Watt, Heinrich Hertz, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, and Henry Ford. The admissibility of this group of the world's scientific and the inventive leaders is shown here." Baker pointed to a minute dab ...
— The Great Gray Plague • Raymond F. Jones

... Also he saw something else that made him close the door hurriedly and dash to the stove. The frying-pan, still hot from the moose-meat and bacon, he put back on the front lid. Into the frying-pan he put a generous dab of butter, then reached for an egg, which he broke and dropped spluttering into the pan. As he reached for a second egg, Shorty gained his side and clutched his arm ...
— Smoke Bellew • Jack London

... she floated out further. Of course I was where the current set in the closest to the shore—I knowed enough for that. But by and by along comes another one, and this time I won. I took out the plug and shook out the little dab of quicksilver, and set my teeth in. It was "baker's bread"—what the quality eat; none ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... how, after years of devotion to Marian, John Gilman let Eileen make a perfect rag of him and tie him into any kind of knot she chose. Peter, when Marian left here she had lost everything on earth but a little dab of money. She had lost a father who was fine enough to be my father's best friend. She had lost a mother who was fine enough to rear Marian to what she is. She had lost them in a horrible way that left her ...
— Her Father's Daughter • Gene Stratton-Porter

... did so we saw to our horror that the long tails of that ridiculous coat were violently agitated. A sickening suspicion came over us. The next moment one of those belligerent young roosters thrust a head out of either of those coat-tail pockets. One uttered a raucous crow, the other made a vicious dab. Uncle Bentley dropped the plate with a scattering of coin, seized a coat skirt in each hand, and drew it front. This dumped both fowls out on the floor, where they went at it hammer and tongs. What happened after this is a blur in most of our memories. ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume X (of X) • Various

... astonishing spectacle he saw—the woman running away as best her bulk allowed, casting glances that were half frightened, half triumphant, behind her; while Mark was sitting up, rubbing a bump on his forehead ruefully, and Lil Artha had taken out a handkerchief to dab at ...
— Pathfinder - or, The Missing Tenderfoot • Alan Douglas

... impressionist when it came to dress. She got the desired effect with the least possible effort, as was evinced now by the way she was whirling two coils of chestnut hair, from which the tangles had not been removed, into round puffs over each ear. A dab of rouge on each cheek, a touch of red on the lips, a dash of powder over the whole, sleeves turned back, neck turned in, resulted in a poster effect that was ...
— Quin • Alice Hegan Rice

... finds for tact! He sees a grave-like bed of verbenas defacing the middle of a small greensward—a dab of rouge on a young cheek; a pert child doing all the talking. Whereupon he shrewdly pleads not for the sward but for the flowers, "You have those there to ...
— The Amateur Garden • George W. Cable

... his handkerchief to dab his nose. Citronlemon? Ah, the soap I put there. Lose it out of that pocket. Putting back his handkerchief he took out the soap and stowed it away, buttoned, into the hip pocket ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... ought to join the eight hours' movement, Mr. Craven." Mr. Craven makes a semi-circular sweep with a huge brush, the point of which lights on a pendulous ash bough. "Eight hours!" he echoes with genial scorn. "Why, if I did, my profession would (dab! dab! dab!) cease (dab! dab! dab!) to (dab!) exist for me"; and the naked bough is clad in graceful ...
— The Idler Magazine, Volume III, March 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... cover my arms, chalked face and neck, with peaked eyebrows and neat little spots of red on the cheekbones and tip of the chin. If you feel inclined to be angelic, you might run up with your paint-box at the last minute, and dab on ...
— A College Girl • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... what was said. "Who'll mind the baby nar?" was one of the night's inspirations, and very frequent. A lean young man in spectacles pursued her for some time, crying "Courage! Courage!" Somebody threw a dab of mud at her, and some of it got down her neck. Immeasurable disgust possessed her. She felt ...
— Ann Veronica • H. G. Wells

... get the map. The moment his back was turned, Kennedy reached over to a typewriter desk that stood in a corner of the office, left open by the stenographer, who had gone. He took two thin second sheets of paper and a new carbon sheet. A hasty dab or two of the library ...
— The Gold of the Gods • Arthur B. Reeve

... man raved in three languages, but Emma Campbell flatly refused either to be in "slaveryment" or in the "nekked rind." Visions of herself being caught and painted bare-legged, with a trifling little dab of an apron tied around her waist even as one ties a bit of ribbon around the cat's neck, and of this scandal being ferreted out by the deacons, sisters, and brethren, of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Riverton, South Carolina, haunted her and made her projeck darkly. ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... B.,—"sit down, and wet your whistle, my piper! I say, egad! you're the piper that played before Moses! Had you there, Dab. Dab, get a fresh bottle of Burgundy for Mr. Hoskins." And before he knew where he was, there was Gus for the first time in his life drinking Clos-Vougeot. Gus said he had never tasted Bergamy before, at which the bailiff sneered, and ...
— The History of Samuel Titmarsh - and the Great Hoggarty Diamond • William Makepeace Thackeray

... could take her leave, She had to puff up her monstrous sleeve. Then a little dab here and a wee pat there. And a touch or two to her hindmost hair, Then around the room with the utmost care She thoughtfully circulated. Then she seized her gloves and a chamoiskin, Some breath perfume and a long stickpin, A bonbon box and a cloak and some Eau-de-cologne and chewing-gum, ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For • Various

... which you have paid. And will you tell Irving for me —I can't get up courage enough to talk about this misfortune myself, except to you, whom by good luck I haven't damaged yet—that when the wreckage presently floats ashore he will get a good deal of his $500 back; and a dab at a time I will make up to him ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... and bubbles, Tufts of straw, sands, fragments, Buoyed hither from many moods, one contradicting another, From the storm, the long calm, the darkness, the swell, Musing, pondering, a breath, a briny tear, a dab of liquid or soil, Up just as much out of fathomless workings fermented and thrown, A limp blossom or two, torn, just as much over waves floating, drifted at random, Just as much for us that sobbing dirge of Nature, Just as much, whence we come, that ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... log had been, Gilbert saw something else. It was a little dab of yellow. It grew smaller; disappeared. There was nothing to be seen now but a little spot of ...
— Tom Slade's Double Dare • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... crackers on the side, a generous helping of well-cooked meat, with bread or potatoes, and the simplest relishes, or a royally fat pudding overrun with brandy sauce; each or either can put it all over a splash of this, a dab of that, a slab of something else, set lonesomely on a separate plate and reckoned a meal—in courses. Courses are all well enough—they have my warm heart when they come "in the picture." But when they are mostly "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," then I would ...
— Dishes & Beverages of the Old South • Martha McCulloch Williams

... Friars sitting back to back Fished from the bridge for a pike or a jack. The first caught a tiddler, the second caught a crab, The third caught a winkle, the fourth caught a dab, The fifth caught a tadpole, the sixth caught an eel, And the seventh one ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, June 7, 1916 • Various

... his hands. His four-days' acquaintance with the bard had been sufficient to show him that the man was there forty ways when it came to writing about love. You could open his collected works almost anywhere and shut your eyes and dab down your finger on some red-hot passage. A proposal of marriage is a thing which it is rather difficult to bring neatly into the ordinary run of conversation. It wants leading up to. But, if you once start reading poetry, especially Tennyson's, almost anything is apt to give you your cue. ...
— Three Men and a Maid • P. G. Wodehouse

... famine in the settlement, and the few pioneers left in it were kept alive on a diet of roast flathead. On the beach three boats were drawn up out of reach of the tide, and looking behind him Jack counted twelve huts and one store of wattle-and-dab. The store had been built to hold the goods of the Port Albert Company. It was in charge of John Campbell, and contained a quantity of axes, tomahawks, saddles and bridles, a grindstone, some shot and powder, two double-barrelled ...
— The Book of the Bush • George Dunderdale

... half-past eight or nine. They were spreading out over the mat roofs tattered quilts and sundry other rags, which serve them for beds, in order to sun and air them. The pigs with their litters, lying in a hollow all of a heap and looking like a dab of mud, had been routed out by the two canine members of the family, who fell upon them and sent them roaming in search of their breakfasts, squealing their annoyance at being interrupted in enjoyment of the sun after the cold ...
— Glimpses of Bengal • Sir Rabindranath Tagore

... upon his body, and hardly a touch of paint upon his face, he'd make such an actor for the starved business as was never seen in this country. Only let him be tolerably well up in the Apothecary in Romeo and Juliet, with the slightest possible dab of red on the tip of his nose, and he'd be certain of three rounds the moment he put his head out of the practicable door ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... might as well give up the trip. With the little dab I would have I could do nothing. Oh, I wanted to throw it in his face!" and a fresh burst of sobs drowned ...
— The Hero of Hill House • Mable Hale

... dear lamb. The girls will all, eventually, put on; fill up"—Sylvia added a dab of clay to a doubtful curve—"but men, when they chip off from the approved design, look like nothing on earth ...
— The Shield of Silence • Harriet T. Comstock

... lady gave her eyes a last hasty dab with a dainty handkerchief and raised her head again, fighting for self-control. She was a quaint little figure, with soft grey hair drawn back smoothly from a gentle-featured face in which each ...
— The Case of the Registered Letter • Augusta Groner

... first approach of age appeared as dimples, not as wrinkles or corrugations of the flesh, ran to nails whose polish proved daily care. Her hair, chestnut in the beginning, foamed with white threads. Below was a face which hardly needed, as yet, the morning dab of powder, so craftily had middle age faded the skin without deadening it. Except for a pair of large, gray, long-lashed eyes—too crafty in their corner glances, too far looking in their direct vision—that skin bounded and enclosed nothing which was not attractive and engaging. ...
— The House of Mystery • William Henry Irwin

... eyes might have been opened. Then, too, she was naturally generous, and not sharp-eyed concerning her own needs. When there were no guests at dinner, and she rose from the table rather unsatisfied after her half-plate of watery soup, her delicate little befrilled chop and dab of French pease, her tiny salad and spoonful of dessert, she never imagined that she was defrauded. Rose had a singularly sweet, ungrasping disposition, and an almost childlike trait of accepting that which was offered her as the one and only thing which she deserved. ...
— The Shoulders of Atlas - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... to the splendors of the enlarged bank room, Amzi had not abandoned his old straw hat and seersucker coat, albeit the hat had been decorated with a dab of paint by some impious workman, and the coat would not have been seriously injured by ...
— Otherwise Phyllis • Meredith Nicholson

... had paid more attention to verisimilitude and less to mere vague harmonies and so forth, but as he was assured by that intelligent young Hillary that this method was all the Go at present, and that his friend Lucas was recognized as a rising Dab at it. That at least is how he retailed the ...
— The Prodigal Father • J. Storer Clouston

... me at it! Why, my brother set up a place once for mending bicycles; and I used to stand about at the door, as if I had just returned from a ride; and when fellows came in, with a nut loose or something, I'd begin talking with them while Bertie tightened it. Then, when THEY weren't looking, I'd dab the business end of a darning-needle, so, just plump into their tires; and of course, as soon as they went off, they were back again in a minute to get a puncture mended! I ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... held at Miss Gilbert's stables, it has been observed that every week some horse more determined than the average has been too much for the wind, or the patience, of most of the subscribers. One only has never been beaten, the Marquess of S——, but then he was always in condition; a dab hand at every athletic sport, extremely active, and gifted with a "calmness," as well as a nerve, which few men of ...
— A New Illustrated Edition of J. S. Rarey's Art of Taming Horses • J. S. Rarey

... ungrateful not to grow industriously, after the way Dab and I have sprained our old backs spading and feeding them according to spiritual direction that stood over us with a rake," answered father, with proud if profane enthusiasm. There was a faint pink glow in his haggard, thin cheeks, and he ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... that a' o'nery dab? Here's a quarter fer you and thirty cents fer me; that's as even as you kin ...
— Sandy • Alice Hegan Rice

... round through de quarters every mornin' and see how us niggers is. If us sick he call nuss. She old slavery woman. She come look at 'em. If dey bad sick dey send for de doctor. Us house all log house. Dey all dab with dirt 'tween de logs. Dey have dirt chimney make out of sticks and dab with mud. Dey [Transcriber's note: unfinished sentence at ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves. - Texas Narratives, Part 2 • Works Projects Administration

... not a-goin' to fire into him, so I gave the frigate a dig wi' my heels—tho' I'd got no irons on 'em—an' tried to shove up alongside of a fat young cow as was skylarkin' on ahead. As we went past the bull he made a vicious dab wi' his horn, and caught the frigate on her flank—right abaft the mizzen chains, like. Whew! you should ha' seen what a sheer she made right away to starboard! If it hadn't bin that I was on the look-out, ...
— The Buffalo Runners - A Tale of the Red River Plains • R.M. Ballantyne

... see why the islanders should celebrate an event of which most people have forgotten the date. She cast round in her mind for another monarch likely to be married; but she could not think of any. There are not, indeed, very many kings left in the world now. Peter Gahan gave a vicious dab at his engine with his oil-can, and then emerged feet first from the shelter of the fore deck. This ...
— Lady Bountiful - 1922 • George A. Birmingham

... ever such a girl?" whispered he; "but there, don't jump at conclusions. I have only had her in hand for a short time, but I am a real dab at starting a woman grandly, and it would be hard to find my equal in ...
— Caught In The Net • Emile Gaboriau

... Lavvy at Scarborough. Yesterday evening, when she got home, Roddy had come in out of the garden to meet her. He was in his shirt sleeves; glass beads of sweat stood out on his forehead, his face was white with excitement. He had just put the last dab of ...
— Mary Olivier: A Life • May Sinclair

... his advice, within the hour. He found Joyce at home in the kitchen. She was making pies energetically. The sleeves of her dress were rolled up to the elbows and there was a dab of flour on her temple where she had brushed back a ...
— Gunsight Pass - How Oil Came to the Cattle Country and Brought a New West • William MacLeod Raine

... rolling down his freckled cheek. He smashed it across into his hair with a quick slash of his dirty hand as if it had been a mosquito annoying him, and lest the other eye might be meditating a like trick he gave that a vicious dab and hauled out the other paper, more as a matter of form than because he had a deep interest in it. All through the description of those wonderful Shafton jewels, and the mystery that surrounded the disappearance of the ...
— The City of Fire • Grace Livingston Hill

... this melodramatic music, beautiful as it is, did not suit the occasion, for though the gaily attuned audience was visibly affected by the phrase, Et moi j'ai l'ame triste, they did not show more signs of emotion than by making a little dab at their eyes ...
— In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. • L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone

... pleasant! To be quite alone here (dab), surrounded by these magnificent works (dab, dab, dab), and everything so quiet too—nothing to disturb one." (Dab) after a pause. "I wonder what Jones and Robinson are doing (dab, splash)—lying at full length in a ...
— The Foreign Tour of Messrs. Brown, Jones and Robinson • Richard Doyle

... said old O'Beirne, "and he that took up wid larnin' and litherature he couldn't ha' tould you the price of a pinny loaf. Faix, man, if I was Maggie I'd just put a good dab of strong glue in your place behind the counter down-below, and stick you standing steady in it, for buyin' and sellin's all the notion you have in your head here ...
— Strangers at Lisconnel • Barlow Jane

... it very likely that it was a strain of that boyishness which I hope survives in us all, and one of whose quaint fancies is an envy of house-painters, so happy all day with paint-pot and brush and great smooth boards to dab and smooth, that decided him to do the job himself. Mr. Moggridge had this great element of refinement, that he thought nothing ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... puddles and dungheaps, on stepping-stones, to get to the door of the house-place. That great room itself was sure to have clothes hanging to dry at the fire, whatever day of the week it was; some one of the large irregular family having had what is called in the district a 'dab-wash' of a few articles, forgotten on the regular day. And sometimes these articles lay in their dirty state in the untidy kitchen, out of which a room, half parlour, half bedroom, opened on one side, and a dairy, the only clean place in the house, ...
— Sylvia's Lovers — Complete • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... being now in his work, he made rapid progress, and soon became an expert smith and metal worker. He displayed his skill especially in forging light ironwork; and a favourite job of his was the making of "Trivets" out of the solid, which only the "dab hands" of the shop could do, but which he threw off with great rapidity in first rate style. These "Trivets" were made out of Spanish iron bolts—rare stuff, which, though exceedingly tough, forged like wax under ...
— Industrial Biography - Iron Workers and Tool Makers • Samuel Smiles

... 'e says. 'Look at 'em, smoking cigarettes. I could do that sort of work. There's nothing in it. It don't take 'eathen foreigners to dab a bit ...
— Idle Ideas in 1905 • Jerome K. Jerome

... jubilantly, as she wiped a dab of flour from her nose and proceeded to concoct the icing for Blanche Remington's wedding cake, "don't you think my business venture has ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... way you ought to look," returned Patty. "Here, hold still till I put another dab ...
— When Patty Went to College • Jean Webster

... is made by a dab of clay placed at right angles to the axis of the cylinder, at a distance from the bottom determined by the ordinary length of a cell. This wad is not a complete round; it is more crescent-shaped, leaving a circular space between ...
— Bramble-bees and Others • J. Henri Fabre

... were studying with extraordinary crudeness of realism. Everything that was not conventional ornament or type was portrait; and portrait in which the scanty technical means of the artist, every meagre line and thin dab of colour, every timid stroke of brush or of pencil, went towards the merciless delineation not merely of a body but of a soul. And the greater the artist, the more cruel the portrait: cruellest in representation of utter spiritual baseness in the two greatest of these ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. II • Vernon Lee

... one of the screens and said, "There's the trigger body. It's equipped with a sub-space energizer big enough to get it into sub-space and return it to normal. Then there is a small propulsor unit with just enough energy to send it to the center of that mess. Then it returns to normal space smack dab in the center of the core asteroid. And when the asteroid matter and the trigger body matter try to occupy the same space at the same time.... Watch it ...
— Jack of No Trades • Charles Cottrell

... of a hundred thousand sees once a year in a little lonely dab of vision all by himself could be seen by all of us by agreement the same week in the year, we will ...
— The Ghost in the White House • Gerald Stanley Lee

... one egg and two tablespoons of milk together; wet each square well with the mixture, lay one raisin in the centre (after the seed has been removed from it), sprinkle thickly with sugar and cinnamon mixed together, then put a small dab of butter on top. Catch the four corners of each square together, so that the inside is protected. Lay the pocket books, not too closely together, in a greased pan and set aside to rise. When well risen bake in a moderately hot oven until well ...
— The International Jewish Cook Book • Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

... about these things said to be lurking in his food. He had always thought of spinach as spinach, chops as chops. But to Nettie they were calories. They lunched together, these two. George was, of course, downtown. For herself Nettie would have one of those feminine pick-up lunches; a dab of apple sauce, a cup of tea, and a slice of cold toast left from breakfast. This she would eat while old man Minick guiltily supped up his cup of warmed-over broth, or his coddled egg. She always pressed upon him any bit of cold meat that was left from the night before, or any remnants of vegetable ...
— Gigolo • Edna Ferber

... finding that for which she was searching among the clothes hanging on a row of nails, and Susie, rolling her eyes in that direction, was sure, very sure, that she saw Teacher dab at her lashes with the frilly ruffle of a ...
— 'Me-Smith' • Caroline Lockhart

... they let you in, though, as it will be sport having you here and making you sing small. I do hope, though, it won't get out that you've been coached by a female, or there'll be a terrific lark. I'm getting quite a dab at photography, and shall have my camera up next term. Mind you get the right-shaped boiler, or I shall cut you. The kids are to be stopped wearing round tops like their betters, so you'd best cut yours ...
— Tom, Dick and Harry • Talbot Baines Reed

... the people are who play at cards, and pay their addresses to one another, and sup, and discuss each other's affairs! Take Mr. Bennet's reception of his sons-in-law. Take Sir Walter Elliot compassionating the navy and Admiral Baldwin—'nine grey hairs of a side, and nothing but a dab of powder at top—a wretched example of what a seafaring life can do, for men who are exposed to every climate and weather until they are not fit to be seen. It is a pity they are not knocked on the head at once, before ...
— A Book of Sibyls - Miss Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Opie, Miss Austen • Anne Thackeray (Mrs. Richmond Ritchie)

... Take enough blue, add to it a yellow of the sort that will make approximately the color. Don't stir them up; drag one into the other a little—very little. The color is crude? Another color or two will bring it into tone. Don't mix it much. Don't smear it all over your palette. Make a smallish dab of it, keeping it well piled up. If you get any one color too great in quantity, then you will have to take more of the others again to keep it in balance. Be careful to take as nearly the right proportions of each at the first picking up, so as to mix but few times; for every time you add ...
— The Painter in Oil - A complete treatise on the principles and technique - necessary to the painting of pictures in oil colors • Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

... had locked herself in out of very shame of the rare tears which had been brought to the surface by the sisters' cruel treatment of Abraham. When she heard his call she hastened to the blue wash-basin and began hurriedly to dab her eyes. He would be alarmed if he saw the traces of her weeping. Whatever had happened to him, for his sake she must face it valiantly. He called again. Again she did not answer, knowing that her voice would be full of the telltale tears. Abe waited. He heard the tramp of ...
— Old Lady Number 31 • Louise Forsslund

... of the sand-dab, well cleaned, make a stock with one bottle of Riesling, juice of one lemon and seasoning. Add chervil and tarragon. Season to taste and cook the Julienne ingredients with some of the stock. When the rest of the stock is boiling poach it in the fillets of sand-dab, then remove from the fire ...
— Bohemian San Francisco - Its restaurants and their most famous recipes—The elegant art of dining. • Clarence E. Edwords



Words linked to "Dab" :   touch, small indefinite quantity, small indefinite amount, strike, touching, apply, put on



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