- Also called dab hand. a person skilled in something; an expert.
- an excellent or extraordinary person or thing.
- expert; excellent; extraordinary.
- British informal a person who is particularly skilled at something; experta dab hand at chess
- digital audio broadcasting
verb dabs, dabbing or dabbed
- to touch lightly and quickly
- (tr) to daub with short tapping strokesto dab the wall with paint
- (tr) to apply (paint, cream, etc) with short tapping strokes
- a small amount, esp of something soft or moista dab of ink
- a small light stroke or tap, as with the hand
- (often plural) mainly British a slang word for fingerprint
- a small common European brown flatfish, Limanda limanda, covered with rough toothed scales: family Pleuronectidae: a food fish
- (often plural) any of various other small flatfish, esp floundersCompare sand dab
- Also called: patiki a sand flounder, Rhombosolea plebia, common around New Zealand’s South Island
- British informal See dab hand
c.1300, dabben “to strike,” of unknown origin, perhaps imitative. Modern sense of “strike with a slight, quick pressure” developed by mid-16c., influenced by French dauber (see daub). Related: Dabbed; dabbing. As a noun from c.1300, “heavy blow with a weapon.” Dab hand is British slang, 1828, from dab “expert” (1690s), said to be school slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from dab in the “strike lightly” sense.