Mid 17th circa French atabis, from Arabic attabi, ultimately from Arabic al-Attabiya, the name of a section of Baghdad, Iraq, which is associated with the manufacture of a certain type of waved silk; see also taffeta, another type of silk whose name derives from the Persian تافته (tâfta, “woven cloth”) and shares a similar etymological origin.
(An old maid or gossip): See :old woman
tabby (countable and uncountable, plural tabbies) (uncountable) A kind of waved silk, usually called watered silk, manufactured like taffeta, but thicker and stronger. The watering is given to it by calendering. (uncountable) A mixture of lime with shells, gravel, or stones, in equal proportions, with an equal proportion of water. When dry, this becomes as hard as rock. (countable) A brindled cat (countable, archaic) An old maid or gossip.
Adjective tabby (not comparable) Having a wavy or watered appearance; as, a tabby waistcoat. Brindled; diversified in color; as, a tabby cat.
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