Main definitions of drab in English

: drab1drab2

drab1

adjective

  • 1Lacking brightness or interest; drearily dull.

    ‘the landscape was drab and grey’
    ‘her drab suburban existence’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To be fair, much of that is probably due to the general lack of interest in Howard's drab party.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was working in the day for commercial illustrators in Pitt Street and it was a drab existence I can tell you.’
    • ‘In a clear departure from the dull and drab appearance that Government publications are usually identified with, the newsletters sport a jaunty look.’
    • ‘The wizard turned what would have been a dull and drab lecture into an interesting one.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘They seemed a drab assortment of mediocrities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Life in the orphanage was a rather drab existence.’
    • ‘A great performance by Polanski as the boring, drab office worker who slowly goes insane, and, consequently, sheds his inhibited personality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Looking around I could see clumps of snowdrops which brightened the drab countryside.’
    • ‘Once in France, the family settled in a cramped flat in the drab Paris suburb of Trappes, which is close to Versailles.’
    • ‘Whatever this meeting brought, one thing for sure was that it would brighten my somewhat drab existence - my so-called life.’
    • ‘I'm really feeling quite drab and dull this week.’
    • ‘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.’
    colourless, grey, greyish, dull, dull-coloured, washed out, neutral, pale, muted, lacklustre, lustreless, muddy, watery
    uninteresting, dull, boring, tedious, monotonous, dry, dreary, wearisome
    View synonyms
  • 2Of a dull light brown colour.

    ‘drab camouflage uniforms’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After months in the desert, surrounded by drab camouflage gear, the soldiers smiled broadly at the flight attendants as they boarded the plane.’
    • ‘All of them wore their drab browns with the exception of their red-clad King.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Part of this comes from the business, but part of it comes from creative use of drab colours.’
    • ‘For the costumes they had gone quite traditional Isreali with long skirts for both sexes and very drab colours.’
    • ‘His hat matched his light brown, drab overcoat.’
    • ‘They seemed to be called away from whatever task they happened to be doing, dressed in drab blacks, browns, and blues.’
    • ‘The jester was wearing drab brown, had tied his curly black hair back neatly, and on the whole looked like an entirely different person.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were dressed in their brown drab uniform with armor strapped over it and sporting open faced helmets; they were the enemy.’
    • ‘As if dressing for their performance, the males turn from drab brown to a pale beige color that contrasts with the darker mud.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Set in the middle-of-nowhere, the color schemes of drab browns and blues enhance the terror already in the air.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Despite its drab colour, Tokyo is immaculately clean.’
    • ‘We captured nine drab males and nine bright males from each site.’
    • ‘Females are a mottled drab brown with a long, orange, black splotched bill, black crown, dark eye-line, and orange legs.’
    • ‘Outside of the breeding season, the male is drab brown with hints of yellow and white wing-bars.’
    • ‘Garbed in regally beaded, colorful gowns of orange and blue-green instead of their normally drab brown shifts, they looked almost like royalty.’

noun

mass noun
  • 1Fabric of a dull light brown colour.

    1. 1.1drabs Clothes, especially trousers, made of drab.
      ‘a young man dressed in drabs’
      • ‘They wore beige camouflage drabs, a black helmet, which also doubled as a gas mask, and wore revlar vests.’
      • ‘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 winter drabs, and I couldn't decide whether they were Australasian or Hoary-headed grebes.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (as a noun denoting undyed cloth): probably from Old French drap ‘cloth’ (see drape).

Pronunciation

drab

/drab/

Main definitions of drab in English

: drab1drab2

drab2

noun

archaic
  • 1A slovenly woman.

  • 2A prostitute.

Origin

Early 16th century: perhaps related to Low German drabbe ‘mire’ and Dutch drab ‘dregs’.

Pronunciation

drab

/drab/