One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Lacking brightness or interest; drearily dull.‘the landscape was drab and grey’‘her drab suburban existence’
colourless, grey, greyish, dull, dull-coloured, washed out, neutral, pale, muted, lacklustre, lustreless, muddy, wateryuninteresting, dull, boring, tedious, monotonous, dry, dreary, wearisomeView synonyms
- ‘Grouping four or five boxwood in one area and using different sized pots make an eyecatching bright green display to brighten up an otherwise drab spot.’
- ‘As soon as the door closed behind her I hurried to the dirty window in the front room and I watched as she walked down the street looking remarkably out of place in the drab surroundings in her bright green dress.’
- ‘She offered Billy a clear route of escape from his drab existence, even if was hard to understand how she could really be interested in him.’
- ‘Whatever this meeting brought, one thing for sure was that it would brighten my somewhat drab existence - my so-called life.’
- ‘To be fair, much of that is probably due to the general lack of interest in Howard's drab party.’
- ‘It continues to thrive on juxtapositions, the mixture of the shiny new gems and the bright life behind the drab facades of the old buildings.’
- ‘Life in the orphanage was a rather drab existence.’
- ‘They jumped and turned about in time to see a gaunt, sour-faced gray man in drab clothing appear with a blue cap in his hand.’
- ‘I'm really feeling quite drab and dull this week.’
- ‘Looking around I could see clumps of snowdrops which brightened the drab countryside.’
- ‘The wizard turned what would have been a dull and drab lecture into an interesting one.’
- ‘Handicrafts have been directed not only to fulfil one's daily requirement but to add beauty and brightness in the otherwise dull and drab existence.’
- ‘In a clear departure from the dull and drab appearance that Government publications are usually identified with, the newsletters sport a jaunty look.’
- ‘They seemed a drab assortment of mediocrities.’
- ‘A great performance by Polanski as the boring, drab office worker who slowly goes insane, and, consequently, sheds his inhibited personality.’
- ‘I also think many scenes look too drab and boring, when others are so bright and vivid, but I can't deny that the story works.’
- ‘It's the only point of interest in his excruciatingly drab life, which is rendered more unhappy by his incessant bullying at the hands of seven overbearing sisters.’
- ‘I was working in the day for commercial illustrators in Pitt Street and it was a drab existence I can tell you.’
- ‘Every one of them seemed to have a stream of people entering or leaving them, except for one, a squat building painted brightly against its drab background.’
- ‘Once in France, the family settled in a cramped flat in the drab Paris suburb of Trappes, which is close to Versailles.’
2Of a dull light brown colour.‘drab camouflage uniforms’
- ‘All of them wore their drab browns with the exception of their red-clad King.’
- ‘We captured nine drab males and nine bright males from each site.’
- ‘After months in the desert, surrounded by drab camouflage gear, the soldiers smiled broadly at the flight attendants as they boarded the plane.’
- ‘They seemed to be called away from whatever task they happened to be doing, dressed in drab blacks, browns, and blues.’
- ‘As if dressing for their performance, the males turn from drab brown to a pale beige color that contrasts with the darker mud.’
- ‘The jester was wearing drab brown, had tied his curly black hair back neatly, and on the whole looked like an entirely different person.’
- ‘His hat matched his light brown, drab overcoat.’
- ‘For the costumes they had gone quite traditional Isreali with long skirts for both sexes and very drab colours.’
- ‘Females are a mottled drab brown with a long, orange, black splotched bill, black crown, dark eye-line, and orange legs.’
- ‘Part of this comes from the business, but part of it comes from creative use of drab colours.’
- ‘Garbed in regally beaded, colorful gowns of orange and blue-green instead of their normally drab brown shifts, they looked almost like royalty.’
- ‘Despite its drab colour, Tokyo is immaculately clean.’
- ‘They are colored to blend in with their sandy environment: most are whitish or drab brown, and many have red-tinged or dark mottling along the back and head.’
- ‘The shape-changer looked down at himself, observing drab brown feathers, barred and speckled, that covered a body half the size of the bird before him.’
- ‘Outside of the breeding season, the male is drab brown with hints of yellow and white wing-bars.’
- ‘The hall chosen for the day's meeting was covered in drab brown, and filled with seats in a semicircle arrangement, slanted down and around the stage, at the foot of the seating.’
- ‘The castle was a dark grey in stone, built into a lush gray mountain, on top of earth that was a very drab shade of light black.’
- ‘Set in the middle-of-nowhere, the color schemes of drab browns and blues enhance the terror already in the air.’
- ‘A splendid Stalagmite standing 2 to 3 feet high and set apart from the drab brown of the rest of the passage by its white crystalline purity greeted my ascent.’
- ‘A drab brown little bird, it has a weak but musical song, which doesn't carry far but can be heard from low bushes or hedges.’
- ‘They were dressed in their brown drab uniform with armor strapped over it and sporting open faced helmets; they were the enemy.’
1Fabric of a dull light brown colour.
- 1.1drabs Clothes, especially trousers, made of drab.‘a young man dressed in drabs’
- ‘Oh, and don't forget heartburn suffered by many when an Army battle dress uniform was pressed upon us in exchange for the old olive drabs.’
- ‘They wore beige camouflage drabs, a black helmet, which also doubled as a gas mask, and wore revlar vests.’
- ‘They wore winter drabs, and I couldn't decide whether they were Australasian or Hoary-headed grebes.’
- 1.1drabs Clothes, especially trousers, made of drab.
Mid 16th century (as a noun denoting undyed cloth): probably from Old French drap ‘cloth’ (see drape).
1A slovenly woman.
Early 16th century: perhaps related to Low German drabbe ‘mire’ and Dutch drab ‘dregs’.
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