Definition of shabby in English:

shabby

adjective

  • 1In poor condition through long or hard use or lack of care.

    ‘a conscript in a shabby uniform saluted the car’
    • ‘The boy, wearing a formal but slightly shabby overcoat, is standing, while his mother is seated, so his head is slightly higher than hers.’
    • ‘I muttered, eyes glued to those clothes, worn and shabby looking.’
    • ‘‘Got a letter here I'd like to be mailed,’ the young man said handing the letter to the short stocky man sitting on a small cot in the shabby tent.’
    • ‘Regardless of the kitchen's shabby condition, this was home to Isis.’
    • ‘All of the houses were wooden, and most of the people were dressed in shabby clothes.’
    • ‘They were in shabby condition, having fallen into disrepair.’
    • ‘Warsaw is still full of grey Soviet-style buildings, a few haphazardly-built modern high rises and shabby stores selling cheap goods.’
    • ‘Maybe it's the lack of people, the lack of cars and the shuttered shabby houses.’
    • ‘Sadness filled Jason's eyes and he stood there looking at Trevor with his shabby clothes and worn shoes.’
    • ‘He habitually wore shabby tweeds and a cloth cap of the kind favoured by Cockney barrow boys, also by country squires.’
    • ‘The hospital wards are shabby and rundown, staff spend as much time filling out forms as dealing with patients, everyone is overworked and over stressed.’
    • ‘The men are dressed in shabby, quilted jackets; they are bareheaded and barefoot.’
    • ‘I stayed with them in their base at Sukhum, a shabby old Soviet hotel with peacocks in the garden.’
    • ‘Yet their fictional lives are placed in direct contrast with their shabby and poor surroundings.’
    • ‘He was standing in a room, now wearing a pair of grey pants, a white short-sleeved shirt, and a pair of shabby looking boots.’
    • ‘And when some of the finer diners cast a disdainful eye upon their shabby, old-fashioned dresses, the two women merely giggled and stared right back at them.’
    • ‘We are running short of food, our uniforms are shabby and dull, our shoes are full of holes, and we are also short on ammunition.’
    • ‘It was small, cheap, and shabby, but she had still called it home for the last few years.’
    • ‘It was much simpler in the old days when everyone had to decorate their homes with the look of the moment, whether it was casual ethnic, urban contemporary, country floral or shabby chic.’
    • ‘When confronted with the reality of a shabby and hostile England unlike the England of her dreams, she is utterly horrified.’
    run down, down at heel, scruffy, uncared-for, neglected, dilapidated, in disrepair, ramshackle, tumbledown
    scruffy, well worn, worn, old, worn out, threadbare, moth-eaten, mangy, ragged, frayed, tattered, battered, decrepit, having seen better days, falling apart at the seams
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    1. 1.1 Dressed in old or worn clothes.
      • ‘Confucius said, ‘Lavishness leads to arrogance, frugality leads to shabbiness, but it is better to be shabby than arrogant’.’
      • ‘I was pretty shabby coming right from the hospital.’
      • ‘She's a shabby infant among lawyers clad in immaculate coal-coloured, pleated robes.’
      • ‘Apart from his improper and shabby looks, his weird name became the object of her cruel jokes.’
      • ‘There was an aura of displacement about him, I felt, and it wasn't because of his ragged clothes or the shabby appearance.’
      scruffy, well worn, worn, old, worn out, threadbare, moth-eaten, mangy, ragged, frayed, tattered, battered, decrepit, having seen better days, falling apart at the seams
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    2. 1.2 (of behavior) mean and shameful.
      ‘shabby, disrespectful treatment’
      • ‘By all accounts, the denunciations of shabby treatment by various news and current affairs programs come from around the room.’
      • ‘Why does he think her shabby treatment of you is acceptable?’
      • ‘It is a shabby and disrespectful epitaph for the tweedy old Bernard Quatermass and his adventures, which date back almost to the advent of television.’
      • ‘‘Their increasingly shabby treatment of people like me is one of the reasons their results are in a tailspin,’ said my friend.’
      • ‘If the rest of the world isn't getting this kind of shabby treatment, why should we?’
      • ‘If Huck had felt ‘ornery’ and insignificant in the face of Providence Jim is capable of the same emotion when he recalls his shabby treatment of Elizabeth.’
      • ‘The door holds fast for just a moment before giving, groaning its displeasure at the shabby treatment it has recently received.’
      • ‘Of some sociological interest is the shabby treatment of Anne by the other leads.’
      • ‘This was, I find, a piece of calculatedly shabby behaviour by which he hoped he might seize some tactical advantage over Mrs Ellis.’
      • ‘Sadly, that same sort of shabby treatment has been accorded some of the mystery world's most beloved authors.’
      • ‘Finally, on the biographical debit side there are the usual miscellaneous acts of thoughtlessness, rudeness and generally shabby behaviour.’
      • ‘Despite his sometimes shabby behavior, he has nobility of spirit compared to the bigger-budget showbiz types who are his rivals.’
      contemptible, despicable, dishonourable, disreputable, discreditable, mean, mean-spirited, base, low, dirty, shameful, sorry, ignoble, unfair, unworthy, ungenerous, unkind, ungentlemanly, cheap, shoddy, unpleasant, nasty
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Origin

Mid 17th century: from dialect shab scab (from a Germanic base meaning itch) + -y.

Pronunciation:

shabby

/ˈSHabē/