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Dabble   /dˈæbəl/   Listen
Dabble

verb
(past & past part. dabbled; pres. part. dabbling)
1.
Dip a foot or hand briefly into a liquid.
2.
Play in or as if in water, as of small children.  Synonyms: paddle, splash around.
3.
Work with in an amateurish manner.  Synonyms: play around, smatter.  "He plays around with investments but he never makes any money"
4.
Bob forward and under so as to feed off the bottom of a body of water.



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"Dabble" Quotes from Famous Books



... moments later and the kindly brightness of the new-risen sun was glinting between tree-trunks, the bush began to breathe naturally, and I was off at a trot for my morning dabble in the surf. ...
— The Record of Nicholas Freydon - An Autobiography • A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

... from the mouths of stone men To spread at ease under the sky In granite-lipped basins, Where iris dabble their feet And rustle to a passing wind, The water fills the garden with its rushing, In the midst of the ...
— Sword Blades and Poppy Seed • Amy Lowell

... that swept athwart them like a sword, Making the blood strain back from their blanched faces Into their quivering hearts, with unknown dread, As that accuser pointed to the shape Before his feet. "Dogs, will ye lap his blood Before ye die? Make haste; for it grows cold! Ye will not, will not even dabble your hands In that red puddle of flesh, what? Are ye Spaniards? Come, come, I'll look at you, perchance there's one That's but a demi-devil and holds you back." And with the word Drake stepped among their ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... Kettle. This mystery game has gone on long enough, and you've got to be put on the ground floor, like the rest of us. Did you ever dabble ...
— A Master of Fortune • Cutcliffe Hyne

... of one of the native songs, "To-night they love who never loved before; to-night let him who loves love all the more." The words have unconsciously arranged themselves, even in English, as poetry; those who know Thomas Gowles best, best know how unlikely it is that he would willingly dabble in the worldly art of verse-fashioning. Think of my reflections with a painful, shameful, and, above all, undeserved death before me, while all the fragrant air was ringing with lascivious merriment. My impression is that, as all the sins of the year were, in their opinion, ...
— In the Wrong Paradise • Andrew Lang

... counter-facts, but dare not state them, he is at once met with a praejudicium. The mere fact of his having ascertained the truth is imputed as a blame to him, in a sort of prudish cant. 'What a very improper person he must be to like to dabble in such improper books that they must not even be quoted.' If in self-defence he desperately gives his facts, he only increases the feeling against him, whilst the reactionists, hiding their blushing faces, ...
— Plays and Puritans - from "Plays and Puritans and Other Historical Essays" • Charles Kingsley

... to feel," he said, "that the turning wheel of life is not altogether out of earshot. I like to dabble just a little in ...
— The Vanished Messenger • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... plan of providing him with a wife would be very good if it were feasible. I should be very glad to see him settled. But if he will marry no one but Florence Mountjoy he must remain unmarried. Augustus has had his hand in that business, and don't let us dabble in it." Then the squire gave the lawyer full instructions as to the will which was to be made. Mr. Grey and Mr. Bullfist were to be named as trustees, with instructions to sell everything which it would be in the squire's legal power to bequeath. The books, the ...
— Mr. Scarborough's Family • Anthony Trollope

... 1840 to dabble in this question, and on the wrong side of it[152].... The matter passed from my mind, full of churches and church matters, in which I was now gradually acquiring knowledge. In 1841 the necessities of the whig government led to a further development of the great controversy; ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... into a round mirror-pool. The face of the cliff back of it, and on both sides, is smoothly covered and embossed with mosses, against which the white water shines out in showy relief, like a silver instrument in a velvet case. Hither come the San Gabriel lads and lassies, to gather ferns and dabble away their hot holidays in the cool water, glad to escape from their commonplace palm-gardens and orange-groves. The delicate maidenhair grows on fissured rocks within reach of the spray, while broad-leaved maples and sycamores ...
— The Mountains of California • John Muir

... as we might, she had offered, when applied to for certain of her receipts, to instruct the class which we were desirous of forming. The offer was eagerly seized upon, and so it came to pass that she had been installed as teacher and director of the mysteries in which we were about to dabble. ...
— Uncle Rutherford's Nieces - A Story for Girls • Joanna H. Mathews

... depth, at any rate," quoth he. "I am but ill read in ancient controversies, though I know you dabble ...
— Joyce Morrell's Harvest - The Annals of Selwick Hall • Emily Sarah Holt

... families who, like the Saracinesca, had scornfully declined to dabble in the whirlpool of affairs, did not by any means refuse to dance to the music of success which filled the city with, such enchanting strains. The Princess Befana rose from her deathbed with more than usual vivacity and went to the length of opening her palace on two ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... brought me! Since my interest in the Dollon affair is so keen, I follow it up, I wish to find the secret of it, just through love of my art. I dabble in it nowadays." ...
— Messengers of Evil - Being a Further Account of the Lures and Devices of Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... That the club have right to dwell Each within his proper cell, With a passage left to creep in And a hole above for peeping. Let them, when they once get in, Sell the nation for a pin; While they sit a-picking straws, Let them rave of making laws; While they never hold their tongue, Let them dabble in their dung: Let them form a grand committee, How to plague and starve the city; Let them stare, and storm, and frown, When they see a clergy gown; Let them, ere they crack a louse, Call for th'orders of the house; Let them, with their gosling quills, Scribble senseless heads of bills; ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... a wonderful love for the excitement of gambling- -take him away from the betting ring and he goes straight to the share market to dabble in gold and silver shares. The Great Humbug Gold Mining Company is floated on the Melbourne market—a perfect fortune in itself, which influential men are floating in a kind of semi-philanthropic manner to benefit mankind at large, and themselves in particular. Report by competent geologists; rich ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... and sat down on the floor. "I went tired this morning, since I came in here and started talking to you—as tired as if I had been pouring my life-blood here on these planks for you to dabble your white ...
— Victory • Joseph Conrad

... a wild, tempestuous coast; but there were lovely clear pools on the rocky shore, natural stone baths left full of water when the tide went out, sheltered from the wind by tall, dark, precipitous cliffs, and warmed by the sun; and there they used to dabble by the hour together. Anne went with them, and it was a pretty sight, the four young women in white chemises that clung to them when wet, and the three lovely children—little white nudities with bright brown hair—scampering over the rocks, ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... dabble her slender brown hand in the water. A silence fell between them, with which Benjamin was well content, since it gave him a chance to feast his eyes on ...
— Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1905 to 1906 • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... stood aside from the conflict. They did not care to risk a rebuff: they knew Christophe, they knew his efficiency, and they knew also that he was not long-suffering. Certain of them had discreetly expressed their regret that so gifted a composer should dabble in a profession not his own. Whatever might be their opinion (when they had one), and however hurt they might be by Christophe, they respected in him their own privilege of being able to criticise everything without being criticised themselves. ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... me, sir," said he with the book, "how comes it that a young gentleman like you, a sedate student at the first appearance, should dabble in stocks and that ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... little troubled myself. I began to see more clearly that it doesn't do for a man of scruples to dabble in politics. I had a great regard for poor Johnny, and I felt no confidence in the colonel treating him with any consideration. In fact, I would not have insured Johnny's life for the next week at any conceivable premium. Again I thought ...
— A Man of Mark • Anthony Hope

... being an onlooker," the Prince reflected. "There go the spirit of Russia and the spirit of Germany. You dabble in these things, my friend Dorminster. Can you guess what they are ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... to the tips your clients slip into your hand, my dear young lady," he advised, "and don't dabble in what you don't understand. The Stock Exchange is a den of thieves, and Maurice here and I are two of the ...
— The Profiteers • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... was all excellent well as far as it went; but still there was something wanted of more reality than the improvisations of a romancist. Ainsworth might dip his pen in the grossest epithets; Boz might dabble in the mysterious dens of Hebrew iniquity; even Bulwer might hash up to us his recollections of St. Giles's dialogue; and yet it was evident that they were all the while only "shamming"—only cooking up some dainty dish according to a recipe, or, as it is still frequently pronounced, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, October 30, 1841 • Various

... just enough of the story to convict himself, but suppresses everything which may convict her. How know I that this resistance in the carriage was more than a sham? How know I that he did not attend her in the house? That they did not dabble together on their way through the dark piazza—along the stairs?—Nay, what proof is there that he did not find his way, with polluting purpose, into the very chamber?—that chamber, from which, not three weeks after, she bade him fly to avoid my wrath! What makes her so precious ...
— Confession • W. Gilmore Simms

... have imagined Captain Henderson the very last person in the world to dabble in the occult, as they call it in the newspapers. I should have thought he would ...
— The Twelfth Hour • Ada Leverson

... am the most miserable of men, a 'mute inglorious Milton' is nothing to me. Nature has created me a lover of the picturesque. In heart and soul I am an artist, I dabble in colours, I dream of lights and shades and glorious effects; but the power of working out my ideas is denied me. If I try to paint a tree my friends gibe at me. I am a poor literary hack; but I give you my word, my dear old Philistine, that ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... said the captain merrily, "there's a beautifully fitted medicine-chest in that cupboard, with plenty of physic and books of instructions for that, and a bit of surgery; and I've had to dabble in it a little myself. We captains often have to do that out away abroad. Why, sir," he continued, with a queer humorous look at Jack, "I'd back myself to give a pill to any man against all the ...
— Jack at Sea - All Work and no Play made him a Dull Boy • George Manville Fenn

... become active. He desires to dabble in science. One day he studies the Arab mystics, Oriental legends, and the next, he studies the marine fauna, etc. His perceptions have never been so clear. His brain is in continual activity. "It is strange," he acknowledges, "what a different man I am becoming mentally from what I was ...
— Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... grow after wheat has been harvested. They are afterwards to be pent up, and fed with ground malt mixed with water. Boiled oats or wheat may occasionally be substituted.—DUCKS are fattened in the same manner, only they must be allowed a large pan of water to dabble in. Those kept for breeders, should have the convenience of a large pond; and such as have their bills a little turned up will generally be found the most prolific. In the spring of the year, an additional number of ducks may be reared by putting the eggs under the care ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... somewhat gross and material fashion, for the berries she gave him, the flowers she wove in his hair, and the brooks that drove his mimic mills. He chased the butterfly, he climbed the trees, he would stand in the rain, paint his cheeks with berry juice, dabble in the mud, and nothing was secure from his prying fingers and curious eyes. He must touch and taste of everything, and know every secret. But it eluded him; and he lay down from his giddy chase, tired and unsatisfied, yet still anticipating that the morning would reveal all. Later ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... free from their duties, and criminals from their feeling of guilt, so that they could really become unscrupulous! You're not the first, and not the last to dabble in the Devil's work. Lucifer a non lucendo! But when Reynard grows old, he turns monk—so wisely is it ordained—and then he's forced to split himself in two and drive out ...
— The Road to Damascus - A Trilogy • August Strindberg

... filled with a divine and immortal spirit. On the other hand, a man-god of the magical sort is nothing but a man who possesses in an unusually high degree powers which most of his fellows arrogate to themselves on a smaller scale; for in rude society there is hardly a person who does not dabble in magic. Thus, whereas a man-god of the former or inspired type derives his divinity from a deity who has stooped to hide his heavenly radiance behind a dull mask of earthly mould, a man-god of the latter type draws his extraordinary power from a certain physical ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... grass, where now and then the tenderest little breeze would creep over my skin, until the sun baking me more than was pleasant, I would rouse myself with an effort, and running down to the fringe of rushes that bordered the full-brimmed river, plunge again headlong into the quiet brown water, and dabble and swim till I was once more weary! For innocent animal delight, I know of nothing to match those days—so warm, yet so pure-aired—so clean, so glad. I often think how God must love his little children to have invented for them such delights! For, of course, if he did not love the children ...
— Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood • George MacDonald

... en dey come out w'ite; en dem w'at wuz de nex' soopless, dey got in nex', en dey come out merlatters; en dey wuz sech a crowd un um dat dey mighty nigh use de water up, w'ich w'en dem yuthers come long, de morest dey could do wuz ter paddle about wid der foots en dabble in it wid der han's. Dem wuz de niggers, en down ter dis day dey ain't no w'ite 'bout a nigger 'ceppin de pa'ms er der han's en de ...
— Uncle Remus • Joel Chandler Harris

... true: I wrecked my father's bank with my loans To dabble in wheat; but this was true— I was buying wheat for him as well, Who couldn't margin the deal in his name Because of his church relationship. And while George Reece was serving his term I chased the will-o-the-wisp of women And the mockery of wine in New ...
— Spoon River Anthology • Edgar Lee Masters

... my little brother." He took off his linen painting sleeves, and began to dabble his fingers in a pan of turpentine. "My little brother! Do you know that the Directeur thinks you are charming, and he wonders that I do not ...
— Olive in Italy • Moray Dalton

... the life of a man written by a private detective from the reminiscences of under-servants. The worst of it is that such a compilation brings a man money, because there are always plenty of people who like to dabble in mud; and a ghoul is the most impervious of beings, probably because a ghoul of this species regards himself merely as an unprejudiced seeker after truth, and claims to be what he would ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... had been written by Mr. Price, but it might have been written by a dozen other young men—granting intelligence, youth, leisure, a university education, and three or four years of London life—any one of a dozen clever young men who frequent West End drawing-rooms and dabble in literature might have written it. All that could be said was that the play was, or rather had been, dans le mouvement; and original work never is dans le mouvement. Divorce was nothing more than the product of certain surroundings, and remembering Mr. Price's other ...
— Vain Fortune • George Moore

... dabblers, as industry absorbs the engineers. The sands are of all earthly spots the most delightful; but a greater delight than any earthly spot can afford awaits the dabbler in the sea. It is mostly the girls who dabble; the gaiety and frolic suit them better than the serious industry of castles and canals. Deliverance from shoes and stockings, the first thrill of pleasure and surprise at the cool touch of the water, ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... fool, and for making you as bad. Poetry's not your business, you understand: I'm giving ye no encouragement to dabble with the fine arts. Science is the ladder for a working-man to climb to fame. In addition to which, the poet Keats, though he certainly speaks the very language of Nature, was a bit of a heathen, I'm afraid, and the fascination of him might be injurious in tender youth. Never mind, child, ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... ever after of his virtue as a Hindu and in no small degree of his renown as an ancestor. [310] Thus it seems clear that a special virtue attaches to the choti. Before every warlike expedition the people of Minahassa in Celebes used to take the locks of hair of a slain foe and dabble them in boiling water to extract the courage; this infusion of bravery was then drunk by the warriors. [311] In a modern Greek folk-tale a man's strength lies in three golden hairs on his head. When his mother plucks them ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV - Kumhar-Yemkala • R.V. Russell

... his nimble-wimble, was like the unicorn, not altogether in length indeed, but in virtue and propriety; for as the unicorn purified pools and fountains from filth and venom, so that other animals came and drank securely there afterwards, in the like manner others might water their nags, and dabble after him without fear of shankers, carnosities, gonorrhoeas, buboes, crinkams, and such other plagues caught by those who venture to quench their amorous thirst in a common puddle; for with his nervous horn he removed all the infection that might be ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... palette, but on the canvas it is not right. You mix again and put it on the canvas; it mixes with the first tint and you get—mud. Why? Both wrong. Scrape the whole thing off. With a clean spot of canvas mix a fresh color. Put it on frankly and freshly and let it alone—don't dabble it. The chances are it will be at least fresh, ...
— The Painter in Oil - A complete treatise on the principles and technique - necessary to the painting of pictures in oil colors • Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

... of the stone: the blow from the former," he adds, "was so violent, that my physician despaired of my revival; but, by the mercy of Heaven, I am so far revived, that I can again enjoy a social and literary intercourse with my friends; and even dabble again in rhyme; but, as I suspect, that my rhymes, like the Homilies of Gil Blas' Archbishop, may savour of apoplexy, I think it right to ...
— Lives of the English Poets - From Johnson to Kirke White, Designed as a Continuation of - Johnson's Lives • Henry Francis Cary

... ever hear of such a thing!" cried the widow. "Donkeys dance on ropes, school-boys dabble in doctor's business! Show me the thing at once! ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... may continue the custom you have begun to bestow on me. If you gradually procure me the profit of all the occasional poems, and we do not consume them in mere feasting, I shall soon come to something. But then, you must not take it ill if I dabble also in your handicraft." Upon this, I told them what I had observed in their occupations, and for which I held myself fit at any rate. Each one had previously rated his services in money, and I asked them to assist me also in completing my establishment. Gretchen had listened ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... said that it was during this visit to Barnstaple that Gay began to write verses; and as most men who take to poetry began to dabble in ink in their youth, this statement may well be accepted. Only, so far no bibliographer has traced any of these early writings. Some poems, said to have been written by him in these days have been printed in the volume to which reference has already ...
— Life And Letters Of John Gay (1685-1732) • Lewis Melville

... thickly. "Don't you know I made you a rich man all along the line? You never did anything at all. It wasn't luck on the stock exchange—it was Mark Constantine back of you. Gad, to have made what you did in the time you did you'd have had to do worse than dabble your hands in the mud. You'd have had to roll in it—like I did." He gave a coarse laugh. "That was what I figured out when you said you wanted Beatrice and what you were going to do to try to get her. I liked you, I wanted you for her husband. I hated the other puppies. So ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... a race, but who have horse in every feature, puff cigars and chat in jerky monosyllables that to an outsider are perfectly incomprehensible. But the glib way in which heavy sums of money are spoken of conveys the impression that they dabble in enormous wealth. ...
— The Amateur Poacher • Richard Jefferies

... it tribute for the right to carry on trade. Arenas considered this tribute paid by the alcaldes as a fine imposed upon them for an infringement of the law; "for several ordinances were in existence, strenuously forbidding them to dabble in any kind of commerce, until it pleased his Catholic Majesty to grant them a dispensation." The latter sources of mischief were, however, abolished by royal decree in September ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... teachers of this science," said he, "promised impossibilities and performed nothing. The modern masters promise very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera but these philosophers, whose hands seem only made to dabble in dirt, and their eyes to pore over the microscope or crucible, have indeed performed miracles. They penetrate into the recesses of nature and show how she works in her hiding-places. They ascend ...
— Frankenstein - or The Modern Prometheus • Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley

... that. I never myself trust him with a case, for I will not employ barristers who dabble in politics. But you can get his address from the 'Gazette des Tribuneaux'; he is ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... fate of our English Newman Street apostles, and of M. de la M—, the mad priest, and his congregation of mad converts, should be a warning to such of us as are inclined to dabble in religious speculations; for, in them, as in all others, our flighty brains soon lose themselves, and we find our reason speedily lying prostrated at the mercy of our passions; and I think that Madame Sand's novel of Spiridion may do a vast deal of good, ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... I am not an artist—a great artist. I am hampered by an inheritance that allows me to live without working, so I don't do anything worth while. I only dabble at this and that. Some day, maybe, I'll ...
— Amarilly of Clothes-line Alley • Belle K. Maniates

... about us, you see; but not for this must you accuse us of the levity of culture. We might patronize; we did not dabble.—One seems to hear from those early ages, echoes of tones familiar now. Ours is the good old roast beef and common sense of—I mean, the grand old gravitas of Rome. What! you must have a Jupiter to ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... taken more or less interest in matters pertaining to surgery, at least as far as it is desirable that a boy should dabble in such things. He had borrowed many books from Dr. Temple, and on two occasions had set a broken arm in a fashion that won him words of ...
— Fred Fenton Marathon Runner - The Great Race at Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... to preserve his health by flying from tavern company—tanquam ex incendio. Another early patron was William Walsh, a Worcestershire country gentleman of fortune and fashion, who condescended to dabble in poetry after the manner of Waller, and to write remonstrances upon Celia's cruelty, verses to his mistress against marriage, epigrams, and pastoral eclogues. He was better known, however, as a critic, and had been declared by Dryden to be, without flattery, the ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... of God's rivers in the open air seems to me a sort of cheerful solemnity or semi-pagan act of worship. To dabble among dishes in a bedroom may perhaps make clean the body; but the imagination takes no ...
— The Pocket R.L.S. - Being Favourite Passages from the Works of Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... merely proves you are not a 'fly-cop,' only a measly busy-body sticking your nose into some one else's business. Well, we know how to take care of your kind, and this is likely to prove the last case you'll dabble in for a while, ...
— The Case and The Girl • Randall Parrish

... still, Of which you, you alone, possess the key, A sullen nobleness to you disclosed E'en then with shame: and by no other guessed. This you well know: betray not that at least; For even the lightest woman here is scared, And dreads to dabble deeper in the ...
— Nero • Stephen Phillips

... is a vital lie but a lie?" the White Logic challenges. "Come. Fill your glass and let us examine these vital liars who crowd your bookshelves. Let us dabble in William James ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... unmannerly reply; but there are many who try to cheat God, and who do to some extent cheat themselves, by professing ignorance of the way which would lead them to His heart. Some of us have learned only too well to raise questions about the method of salvation instead of accepting it, and to dabble in theology instead of making sure work of return. Some of us would fain substitute a host of isolated actions, or apparent moral or religious observance, for the return of will and heart to God; and all who in their ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... began to dabble in politics. And my views of political subjects were as much out of the ordinary way as my views on matters pertaining to religion. I was a republican. I would have no King, no Queen, no House of Lords, and no State Church. I would abolish the laws of entail and primogeniture, and reduce ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... are fakers everywhere else. Only, of course, the ardour of new ideas which sincerely animates the Village does lend itself to all manner of poses. And because of this a perfectly earnest movement will attract a number of superficial dilettanti who dabble in it until it is in disrepute. And, vice versa, a crassly artificial fad will, by its novelty and picturesqueness, draw some of the real thinking people. Such inconsistencies and discrepancies are bound to occur in any such mental crucible as Greenwich. And, moreover, if the true and the ...
— Greenwich Village • Anna Alice Chapin

... forces more threatening still. The rowdier section of the people never fails to hoot the man out on every possible occasion and even the women of his family may be subjected to indignities. The vakils are a very powerful class in the Deccan. Many of them do not openly dabble in politics; but you can hardly find many among them who do not sympathize with extremist politics. The landholders, traders and agriculturists in general are always in need of the services or, as they think, of the favour of the legal profession ...
— Indian Unrest • Valentine Chirol

... fact of his failure has interest; but how did he take his defeat? What did he do next? Was he discouraged? Did he slink out of sight? Did he conclude that he had made a mistake in his calling, and dabble in something else? Or was he up and at it again with a determination that ...
— The True Citizen, How To Become One • W. F. Markwick, D. D. and W. A. Smith, A. B.

... remained quiet, and Hamar knew, by a subtle change in the atmosphere, that all occult manifestations—for that night at least—were at an end. The ladies were, of course, dying to know what had happened; and like most ladies, who dabble in spiritualism, were ready to believe anything they were told. Hamar, who had no intention whatever of telling them what had actually occurred, ...
— The Sorcery Club • Elliott O'Donnell

... information relative to all the new sciences. Books were too expensive for the common person, but not so for the bourgeoisie, nor for numerous nobles. Indeed, it became quite the fashion in society to be a "savant," a scientist, a philosopher, to dabble in chemistry, perhaps even to have a little laboratory or a telescope, and to dazzle one's friends ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... understand, ma'am,' said the doctor, after another pause, 'that to dabble in smuggling is to court many awkward situations. You need not remind me of that, who am fresh from misleading that young man. It was—if you will pardon my saying so—by reason of his trust in my good faith ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... back his head to look up at the sketch of the donkey. "There were days when I couldn't look at that thing—couldn't face it. But I forced myself to put it here; and now it's cured me—cured me. That's the reason why I don't dabble any more, my dear Rickham; or rather Stroud himself is ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 2 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... to me a mere derision. My chances of visiting Heaven are about as valid as my chances of visiting Monreith. Though I should like well to see you, shrunken into a cottage, a literary Lord of Ravenscraig. I suppose it is the inevitable doom of all those who dabble in Scotch soil; but really your fate is the more blessed. I cannot conceive anything more grateful to me, or more amusing or more picturesque, than to live in a cottage outside your own park-walls. - With renewed thanks, believe ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... dabble in the water, Dinny," said Dick, wickedly. "The crocodiles snap at hands or feet held over ...
— Off to the Wilds - Being the Adventures of Two Brothers • George Manville Fenn

... species of rhythmic work, and deserves a denomination of its own. It has the tone, less of society and of the Court, than of the familiar intercourse of every day—of the intercourse, that is, which goes on between people of ordinary breeding and education. It does not dabble in the phrase of drawing-rooms, nor does it rise to the height of sentiment or sink to the depths of low comedy. It is 'familiar, but by no means vulgar.' Its first quality is ease—absence of effort, spontaneity, freedom, ...
— By-ways in Book-land - Short Essays on Literary Subjects • William Davenport Adams

... the plainest of plain prose, I am not a theorist on these subjects, nor do I dabble in small fruits as a rich and fanciful amateur, to whom it is a matter of indifference whether his strawberries cost five cents or a dollar a quart. As a farmer, milk must be less expensive than champagne. I could not afford a fruit farm at all if it did not more than pay ...
— Success With Small Fruits • E. P. Roe

... plenty of his brethren at every street-corner!" continued she. "Well; I didn't mean to dabble in witchcraft to-day, further than the lighting of my pipe; but a witch I am, and a witch I'm likely to be, and there's no use trying to shirk it. I'll make a man of my scarecrow, were it only ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... advice she crams you with; for, provided she has the luxury of giving it, it can make little difference how it is taken; because whatever befals you, be it good or bad, it is equally a matter of exultation to her. Thus she has the satisfaction of saying, 'If poor Mrs. Dabble had but followed my advice, and not have taken these pills of Dr. Doolittle's, she would have been alive to-day, depend upon it;' or, 'If Sir Thomas Speckle had but taken advantage of a friendly hint I threw out some time ago, about the purchase ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... say on this account that they determine the will in a different way and not through sense, whereas the possibility of the pleasure presupposes a feeling for it implanted in us, which is the first condition of this satisfaction; this is just as when ignorant persons that like to dabble in metaphysics imagine matter so subtle, so supersubtle that they almost make themselves giddy with it, and then think that in this way they have conceived it as a spiritual and yet extended being. If with Epicurus we make virtue determine the will only by means of the pleasure it promises, we ...
— The Critique of Practical Reason • Immanuel Kant

... the Gulf, had taken stop-over checks for the Glimmerglass; and now they came loitering along through the dead bulrushes, murmuring gently, in soft, mild voices, of delicious minnows and snails, and pausing a moment now and then to put their heads under and dabble in the mud for some particularly choice morsel. The lynxes crouched and waited, while their stubby tails twitched nervously, their long, narrow pupils grew still narrower, and their paws fumbled about among the dry pine-needles, feeling for the very best footing for the flying leap. The ducks came ...
— Forest Neighbors - Life Stories of Wild Animals • William Davenport Hulbert

... Norton's Letter to you that you hold well, through all the Wet and Cold we have had for the last six months. Our Church Bell here has been tolling for one and another of us very constantly. I get out on the River in my Boat, and dabble about my five acres of Ground just outside the Town. Sometimes I have thought you might come to my pleasant home, where I never live, but where you should be treated with better fare than you had at Farlingay: where ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes - Vol. II • Edward FitzGerald

... was arranged between the painter and my brother that they should depart the next day but one; they then began to talk of art. "I'll stick to the heroic," said the painter; "I now and then dabble in the comic, but what I do gives me no pleasure, the comic is so low; there is nothing like the heroic. I am engaged here on a heroic picture," said he, pointing to the canvas; "the subject is 'Pharaoh dismissing Moses from Egypt,' ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... quaint farmhouse, such as might well go with two or three hundred acres of tolerably good land, tolerably well farmed by an active old-fashioned tenant, who, though he did not use mowing-machines nor steam-ploughs nor dabble in chemical experiments, still brought an adequate capital to his land and made the capital yield a very fair return of interest. The supper was laid out in a good-sized though low-pitched parlour with a glazed door, now ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... meeting. He told me that he made some L700 a year by the turf. "I've a cousin, you see, who is a great sporting man, and thus I'm 'in with a stable,' and get put up to tips," he said. "But for this the turf would be a very poor thing to dabble in." And this led to a talk about officers' lives and their money-affairs. "Oh," he said, "you've no notion of the number who go to utter grief. Why now, I'll tell you what happened to me last season in London. I was asked to go down and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Volume 11, No. 26, May, 1873 • Various

... history, he would have drifted through life, half lawyer and half placeman, if the associations and stimulus of an old civilization, in his second European residence, had not fired his ambition. Like most young lawyers with little law and less clients, he began to dabble in local politics. The experiment was not much to his taste, and the association and work demanded, at that time, of a ward politician soon disgusted him. "We have toiled through the purgatory of an election," he writes to the fair Republican, Miss Fairlie, who rejoiced ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... imagination. Dr. Charcot, who is a cautious man, has publicly admitted hypnotic suggestion. He thinks extraordinary curative effects, so far as the consciousness of pain goes, are to be derived from hypnotism, which is Mesmerism with a new Greek name. But he always exhorts laics not to dabble in it, and medical men to keep their hypnotic lore to themselves. This is charming after the way in which the profession of which Charcot is really a bright light treated Mesmerism. Mesmer was an empiric. But he nevertheless ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, November 1887 - Volume 1, Number 10 • Various

... been in the custom of appointing the ushers themselves; and much to Jack's annoyance, when Squire Bull succeeded, the latter had taken care in his bargain with him, to keep the right of appointment to these in his own hand. But, at the same time, he told Jack fairly, that as he had no wish to dabble in Latin, Greek, or school learning himself, he left him at full liberty to say whether those whom he appointed were fit for the situation or not—so that if they turned out to be ignoramuses, deboshed fellows, or drunken dogs, Jack had only to say so on good grounds, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... a father to Elsie's confession of her thoughtlessness in giving Tim such a nervous shock. 'I used to dabble in phrenology and chiromancy, and such things, when I was young,' he said. 'As guides to character they are certainly interesting and often helpful, but, one should remember, by no ...
— Cicely and Other Stories • Annie Fellows Johnston

... torch to the tower, We rifled the kist, and the cattle we maimed; Our dirks stabbed at guess through the leaves o' the bower, And crimes we committed that needna be named: Moonlight or dawning grey, Lammas or Lady-day, Donald maun dabble his plaid in the gore; He maun hough and maun harry, or should he miscarry, The Hielan's, the Hielan's will own him ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... and it is a fine sight to behold them walk, poddling one after other, with their toes out, like soldiers drilling, and their little eyes cocked all ways at once, and the way that they dib with their bills, and dabble, and throw up their heads and enjoy something, and then tell the others about it. Therefore I knew at once, by the way they were carrying on, that there must be something or other gone wholly amiss in the duck-world. Sister Annie perceived it too, but ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... "I dabble very little in merchandise," returned the brigadier; "but, as a general principle, I should say that no article of Leaphigh manufacture would command so certain a market ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... cobwebs of romance from Catherine's imaginative mind, but the dark suspicions she harbours about General Tilney are not altogether inexplicable. He is so much less natural and so much more stagey than the other characters that he might reasonably be expected to dabble in the sinister. This time Catherine is misled by memories of the Sicilian Romance into weaving a mystery around the fate of Mrs. Tilney, whom she pictures receiving from the hands of her husband a nightly supply of coarse food. She watches in vain for "glimmering lights," like ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... not an uncommon type,—a type not strong enough to live life healthily, just strong enough to dabble in life, to trifle with emotions, to experiment with other people's lives. Indeed, I am not angry, dear; I am only—sorry; for you have played with me very nicely indeed, and very boyishly, and the summer ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... ferry is there, but Harding's hammer is silent. And where his shop stood is a little cottage where children live, who dabble in summer on the ferry-step. And their mother will run from her washing or cooking to take you over the water for the same fee that Wayland asked for shoeing a poor man's donkey or making a rich man's sword. ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... I am afraid I have been over-rated; I make my living tilling the soil and dabble in my nut grove only when I can find a few moments to spare—in fact all I know about nuts and nut-grafting, I owe to my good friend, Edgar Huen. I shall always remember that balmy May morning 25 years ago when Mr. Huen came over with a kit full of hickory scions, and suggested we go ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 43rd Annual Meeting - Rockport, Indiana, August 25, 26 and 27, 1952 • Various

... small stake on stocks, secured a fair return from an investment in oil, and came out about even on the race-track. Up to this time, however, he had never indulged in the luxury of a theatrical venture, notwithstanding the hankering he had at times to dabble in that direction. As soon as he saw Handy he called him aside and began a little preliminary skirmishing, and in a roundabout way started in to lay bare the strenuous thoughts that were agitating his mind. He opened up the subject by inquiring when ...
— A Pirate of Parts • Richard Neville

... and instantly plunged fathoms down beyond her depth into that great cold ocean of knowledge; on the contrary, Miss Churton merely took her for a not unpleasant ramble along the margin—that old familiar margin where she had been accustomed to stray and dabble and paddle in the safe shallows. Miss Churton was only making herself acquainted with her pupil's mind, finding out what roots of knowledge already existed there on which to graft new branches; and we know that the time Fan had ...
— Fan • Henry Harford

... her clamber up on that rail?" exclaimed Polly, for just as the launch in question was executing some of its wildest stunts, a little girl, probably six years of age, had scrambled up astern and was trying to reach over and dabble her hands in ...
— Peggy Stewart: Navy Girl at Home • Gabrielle E. Jackson

... off his shoes, removed his socks, and thrust both feet over the side to dabble them in the ...
— Eagles of the Sky - With Jack Ralston Along the Air Lanes • Ambrose Newcomb

... Marshal. He was simply and unofficially and earnestly interested. Thus the eye of Justice may not be said to have winked upon the nefariousness now under its vision; it gazed with strong curiosity, an itch to dabble, and (it must be admitted) a growing hope of profit. The game was so direct and the player so sure. Several countrymen had won small sums, and one, a charmingly rustic stranger, with a peculiar accent (he said that him and his goil should now have a smoot' ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... number: "2,000 francs." He said nothing for a time, but stood looking at the picture, while the copyist began actively to dabble with her paint. "For a copy, isn't that a good deal?" he asked at last. ...
— The American • Henry James

... to alleviate your confessed boredom. Your persistence would be praiseworthy if well directed. Waters wear away stone, the wind crumbles the marble, but a woman is not moved till she wishes to be. I never thought that I should dabble in an intrigue of this sort, and I am surprised at the amusement it affords me. I really owe you some gratitude. The few I have met who know you tell me that you are ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... who cared for nothing more in this world, after that took to drinking, used to get constantly drunk, and rolled from public-house to public-house, and bar to bar, and as the worst glass of vitrol still cost a penny, he became reduced to undertaking the part which you have seen, to dabble in the water, to blacken himself, and to allow himself to ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... for money ruins whist: and seldom can his Club Persuade him to put counters (coins for Zulus!) on the rub; He has been known for lozenges to dabble with piquet; He wasn't Chief Attorney then, nor was ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100., Jan. 31, 1891 • Various

... certain limits I should expect you to look after me and as far as possible prevent such accidents: however, I shall not, of course, expect you to have more than one pair of eyes. My tastes are simple—I read a little, sketch a little, botanise, dabble in chemistry, am fond of carpentering—boat-building especially. My very absence of mind makes me indifferent to surroundings. In short, I am a ...
— The Astonishing History of Troy Town • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... exclusively to the society of her friends and to literature."—"Ah, there it is! . . . Literature! Do you think I am to be imposed upon by that word? While discoursing on literature, morals, the fine arts, and such matters, it is easy to dabble in politics. Let women mind their knitting. If your mother were in Paris I should hear all sorts of reports about her. Things might, indeed, be falsely attributed to her; but, be that as it may, I ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... to the heroic,' said the painter; 'I now and then dabble in the comic, but what I do gives me no pleasure, the comic is so low; there is nothing like the heroic. I am engaged here on a heroic picture,' said he, pointing to the canvas; 'the subject is "Pharaoh dismissing ...
— George Borrow and His Circle - Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters Of - Borrow And His Friends • Clement King Shorter

... solution of the problem is to accept the hypothesis that in early life he was in an attorney's office (!), that he there contracted a love for the law which never left him, that as a young man in London, he continued to study or dabble in it for his amusement, to stroll in leisure hours into the Courts, and to frequent the society of lawyers. On no other supposition is it possible to explain the attraction which the law evidently had for him, and his minute and undeviating accuracy in a subject where no layman who has indulged ...
— Is Shakespeare Dead? - from my Autobiography • Mark Twain

... objections, I am quite sure you do me the justice to believe that I do not willingly give cause for offence. Without going as far as Robert, who holds that I 'couldn't be coarse if I tried,' (only that!) you will grant that I don't habitually dabble in the dirt; it's not the way of my mind or life. If, therefore, I move certain subjects in this work, it is because my conscience was first moved in me not to ignore them. What has given most offence in the book, more than the story of Marian—far ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... dabble a little in geology, mineralogy, and palaeontology. My friend is a botanist. You are Mr. Rawdon. Allow me, Mr. Rawdon, to introduce my friend Mr. Eugene Coristine, of Osgood Hall, Barrister, and my humble self, Farquhar Wilkinson, of the ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... Socialism, therein lies the future, the new instrument of government; and the kings tottering on their thrones, the middle-class presidents of anxious republics, the ambitious plotters who dream of power, all dabble in socialism! They all agree that the capitalist organisation of the State is a return to pagan times, to the olden slave-market; and they all talk of breaking for ever the iron law by which the labour of human beings has become so much merchandise, subject to supply ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... definitely to dabble in its chromatic chemistries Loveday at last remarked: "Did you ever think why I took such pains to get you to come down with me to Lord ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... advise you not to speculate amongst us, for if you do we shall beat you. We know our business better than you do, and you'll get nothing out of us any more than we should get out of you if we were to dabble in your law, for you know that ...
— The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton) • Henry Hawkins Brampton

... artist," asked Abner, "but the reporter sublimated? Why must the artist go afield to dabble in far-fetched artificialities that have nothing to do with his own proper time and place? Our people go abroad for study, instead of staying at home and guarding their native quality. They return affected, lackadaisical, self-conscious—they bring ...
— Under the Skylights • Henry Blake Fuller

... a stock at one time, the article had fallen in value, and left the speculating Chevalier so great a loser as to cause his bankruptcy. Whether such is the real cause or not, it is difficult to ascertain what could induce the Chevalier to descend from his dealings with the head to dabble with ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... and of her happiness in her labours was her thoroughness. It was a family joke that in the garden she was never satisfied to dabble in her flower-beds like other people, but would always clear out what she called "the Irish corners," and attack bits of waste or neglected ground from which everybody else shrank. And amongst our neighbours in the village, those with whom, day after day, time after ...
— Miscellanea • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... L. B.—In their official or unofficial quality, numerous Americans amorously dabble in International questions and laws. How much the rights of war, etc., have been discussed; how many letters, signed, anonymous, official and unofficial, have been published—and very little, if any light thrown on these questions. What a cruel fate of ...
— Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863 • Adam Gurowski

... wishes to dispose of certain individuals who call themselves men of wit and fashion—about town—who he is told have abused his book "vaustly"—their own word. These people paint their cheeks, wear white kid gloves, and dabble in literature, or what they conceive to be literature. For abuse from such people, the writer was prepared. Does any one imagine that the writer was not well aware, before he published his book, that, whenever he gave it to the world, he should be attacked by every literary ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... continued Cresswell, "I am free to confess that I have no personal desire to dabble in philanthropy, or conduct schools of any kind; my hands are full ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... service. To this it may be replied that the buyers and sellers of stocks are indirectly performing the function of adjusting demand and supply, and so regulating industry. So far as they are expert business men trained in the knowledge of a particular market this may be so. So far as they dabble in the market in the hope of profiting from a favourable turn, they appear rather as gamblers. I will not pretend to determine which of the two is the larger class. I would point out only that, on the face of the facts, the profits derived from this particular source appear to be rather of the nature ...
— Liberalism • L. T. Hobhouse

... bank. In neither instance did the purchaser own outright what he sought to sell at an advance; merely in one case it was shares, in the other merchandise. Of course it was foolish for inexperienced country folk with small means to dabble in stocks and bonds, but why should not city people who were clever and had clever friends in the business eke out the cost of living by shrewd investments? In an old-fashioned sense it might be considered ...
— Unleavened Bread • Robert Grant

... Thou mayst say the same of half our Northern youth! They think it grand to dabble with seminary priests in hiding, and talk big about their conscience and the like, but when they've seen a neighbour or two pay down a heavy fine for recusancy, they think better of it, and a good ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... fell, and laughed, and chatted, with the salt breeze lifting our hair, and fanning our brown faces, and going out far on the point, we came upon a little shining lake, surrounded by rocks, upon which we could sit, and dabble our feet in the water. It was no place more than a foot deep, and we decided to wade round in it. It was a comical sight to see us navigating ourselves in procession through that water, but it was a very questionable joke, when Milly Sayre ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... information as to the criminal statistics of this city. The reports and estimates of the Police Commissioners are notoriously incomplete and unreliable. They show a large number of arrests, but they deal mainly with the class known as "casuals," persons who merely dabble in crime, and who do not make it a profession, and the larger proportion of the arrests reported are for such trifling offences as drunkenness. Indeed many of the arrests reported ought not to be counted in the records of crime at all, as the persons apprehended ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... children down there!' said the queen, sobbing and pointing to them. 'Did you ever see anybody so happy? Why can't I have mud to dabble in too, and why can't I take off my shoes and stockings, and amuse myself like the children do, instead of being so dull and stuck-up all ...
— Milly and Olly • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... by the cure, and retard the cure to augment the fees. As the quack exhausts the constitution the pettifogger exhausts the purse; and as he who has once been under the hands of a quack is for ever after prone to dabble in drugs, and poison himself with infallible prescriptions, so the client of the pettifogger is ever after prone to embroil himself with his neighbors, and impoverish himself with successful lawsuits. My readers will excuse this digression into which I have been ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... with a great enthusiasm for the United States and for the story of Abraham Lincoln. But you were never faddist or doctrinaire, and your practical bent showed itself in the keen interest you took in the noticing of political economy in which I used to dabble, and which we used to discuss by the hour. You seemed, without having studied text-books, to have an intuitive grasp of economic and fiscal truths which astonished me and others much better qualified to judge than I was. The ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... agreed Bunny. "Your legs will dry better if they are just wet, instead of being wet and muddy, Sue. Dabble ...
— Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Keeping Store • Laura Lee Hope

... was known to dabble in magic, and there were one or two dark passages in his past life of which more than a whisper had gone abroad. Of being a student of alchemy, a "philosopher"—that is to say, a seeker after the philosopher's stone, ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... have none of San Juan. "I know all about it, Maria," he said. "They will teach Thomas Latin very thoroughly. They will make him proficient in theology and metaphysics. They will let him dabble in algebra and Spanish literature; and with great pomp, they will give him his degree, and 'the power of interpreting Aristotle all over the world.' What kind of an education is that, for a man who may have to fight the battles of ...
— Remember the Alamo • Amelia E. Barr

... what move to make an' when to make it. If Molly is one thing she is game. We've got a good deal out of the mine an' it's all come so far from the sale of gold to the mint, I take it. We don't dabble in stocks. We're ahead. If the mine's gone bu'st she's done nicely by us, ...
— Rimrock Trail • J. Allan Dunn



Words linked to "Dabble" :   play, dunk, bob, dip, smatter, busy, douse, plunge, souse, occupy



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