From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Fish
dabdab1 /dæb/ noun [countable] 1 AMOUNTa small amount of something that you put onto a surfacedab of a dab of butter2 TOUCHa light touch with your hand, a cloth etc She wiped her tears away with a dab of her handkerchief.3 be a dab hand at/with something4 HBFa small flat fish5 dabs
Examples from the Corpus
dabA dab with a handkerchief and an early morning sniff was my subterfuge.With big dabs of his brush, he began painting.Hythe Range to Redoubt Wall for dabs, pout and rockling.Tender sand dabs, half a dozen or so to an order, in a light batter, make a good choice.An absolute pristine typical Redesmere roach of old, complete with dab of orange under its chin.Dungeness beach yielded dabs to black lugworm.dab ofAdd a dab of butter and some parsley.
ldoce_062_cdabdab2 verb (dabbed, dabbing) 1 [intransitive, transitive]TOUCH to touch something lightly several times, usually with something such as a cloth She dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief.dab at He dabbed at his bleeding lip.2 [transitive]PUT to put a substance onto something with quick light movements of your handdab something on/onto etc something She dabbed some cream on her face.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
dabPolly turned the deadlock, and before reaching for the latch dabbed at her eyes with the hem of her nightshirt.He dabbed gently at her eyes.Ted swallowed, dabbed his mouth with a napkin with the name of the restaurant on it in red.He dabbed his mouth with a napkin.To remove melted plastic from an appliance, unplug appliance and dab off spot with nail polish remover.She sort of flinches but I dab real soft and she lets me finish.Don't pull them off but dab them with a little paraffin.dab atMrs. Copeland dabbed at her eyes with a tissue.
DABDAB /ˌdiː eɪ ˈbiː/ noun [uncountable] (digital audio broadcasting) a system of broadcasting radio programmes using digital technologyOrigin dab1 (1200-1300) From the sound of hitting something