Definition of shabby in English:
adjective (shabbier, shabbiest)
- Yet their fictional lives are placed in direct contrast with their shabby and poor surroundings.
- Regardless of the kitchen's shabby condition, this was home to Isis.
- They were in shabby condition, having fallen into disrepair.
- There was an aura of displacement about him, I felt, and it wasn't because of his ragged clothes or the shabby appearance.
- She's a shabby infant among lawyers clad in immaculate coal-coloured, pleated robes.
- Confucius said, ‘Lavishness leads to arrogance, frugality leads to shabbiness, but it is better to be shabby than arrogant’.
- Finally, on the biographical debit side there are the usual miscellaneous acts of thoughtlessness, rudeness and generally shabby behaviour.
- This was, I find, a piece of calculatedly shabby behaviour by which he hoped he might seize some tactical advantage over Mrs Ellis.
- ‘Their increasingly shabby treatment of people like me is one of the reasons their results are in a tailspin,’ said my friend.
scab from (Middle English):
This comes from Old Norse, going back to a Germanic root meaning ‘itch’. The sense ‘contemptible person’ dating from the late 16th century was probably influenced by Middle Dutch schabbe ‘slut’. It was used to refer to a blackleg in a strike from the mid 18th century, originally in the USA. Shabby (mid 17th century) comes from a dialect variant of the source of scab. Dr Johnson wrote that shabby was: ‘A word that has crept into conversation and low writing, but ought not to be admitted into the language’.
- Example sentences
- He was sensitive enough to recognize that racism was an anti-American outrage, proud enough never to accept it, and financially successful enough to live out his autumn years in the same town that once treated him so shabbily.
- We had also gone to the Centre with a begging bowl, but were shabbily treated.
- While the police exhibited a great nervousness about what appeared to be a few shabbily dressed kids making vague assertions, the kids were amazingly at ease, at one point getting up to dance and sing.
- Example sentences
- Great art is a celebration: ‘The perfection and beauty of form rebels against the ugliness and shabbiness of the subject matter.’
- It has a certain shabbiness now, and that's unfortunate as it is only a very small proportion of the population which makes it that way.
- Some of its most loyal clients have taken their productions elsewhere, complaining of its general shabbiness.
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