Perhaps corrupted from adept.
A skillful hand; a dabster; an expert. [Colloq.] One excels at a plan or the titlepage, another works away at the body of the book, and the therd is a dab at an index. Goldsmith.
Perhaps so named from its quickness in diving beneath the sand. Confer Dabchick.
(Zoölogy) A name given to several species of Pleuronectes. The American rough dab is Hippoglossoides platessoides.
imperfect & past participle Dabbed; present participle & verbal noun Dabbing., (Old English) dabben to strice; akin to (Old Dutch) dabben to pinch, knead, fumble, dabble, and perhaps to German tappen to grope.
1. To strike or touch gently, as with a soft or moist substance; to tap; hence, to besmear with a dabber. A sore should... be wiped... only by dabbing it over with fine lint. S. Sharp.2. To strike by a thrust; to hit with a sudden blow or thrust. "To dab him in the neck." Sir T. More.
1. A gentle blow with the hand or some soft substance; a sudden blow or hit; a peck. Astratch of her clame, a dab of her beack. Hawthorne.2. A small mass of anything soft or moist.
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