A dab is a quick, soft application of something, like paint or makeup. You might touch up a clown's makeup with several dabs on his cheeks and forehead.

A dab is the motion with which you pat or apply something to a surface, and it's also the tiny amount of material you're applying. An artist might work in dabs of paint, and a baker might lick a dab of cake batter off her finger. Dab is a verb too: "Dab this aloe on your sunburn — it'll feel much better." A dab is a "light, striking movement," from the earlier dabben, "to strike."

Definitions of dab
  1. noun
    a light touch or stroke
    synonyms: pat, tap
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    type of:
    touch, touching
    the act of putting two things together with no space between them
  2. verb
    hit lightly
    synonyms: pat
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    type of:
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  3. noun
    a small quantity of something moist or liquid
    “a dab of paint”
    synonyms: splash, splatter
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    type of:
    small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
  4. verb
    apply (usually a liquid) to a surface
    dab the wall with paint”
    synonyms: swab, swob
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    type of:
    apply, put on
    apply to a surface
Word Family

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