shabby (adj.) 1660s, from shab "scab" (now only dialectal, in reference to a disease of sheep), from O.E. sceabb (see SCAB (Cf. scab)), with sound change as described in SH- (Cf. sh-). Cf. M.Du. schabbich, Ger. schäbig "shabby." Shabby-genteel "run-down but trying to keep up appearances" first recorded 1754.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • shabby — 1 Shabby, dilapidated, dingy, faded, seedy, threadbare refer to the appearance of persons and of things and mean showing signs of wear and tear. Shabby applies to persons and places and suggests a lack of freshness or newness in those items that… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Shabby — Shab by, a. [Compar. {Shabbier}; superl. {Shabbiest}.] [See {Shab}, n., {Scabby}, and {Scab}.] 1. Torn or worn to rage; poor; mean; ragged. [1913 Webster] Wearing shabby coats and dirty shirts. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 2. Clothed with ragged,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shabby — [shab′ē] adj. shabbier, shabbiest [< dial. shab, scab, scoundrel < OE sceabb, scab, scale: see SCAB] 1. run down; dilapidated; deteriorated [shabby surroundings] 2. a) showing much wear; ragged; threadbare: said of clothing b) wearing such… …   English World dictionary

  • shabby — [adj1] broken down; in poor shape bare, bedraggled, crummy, decayed, decaying, decrepit, degenerated, desolate, deteriorated, deteriorating, dilapidated, dingy, disfigured, disreputable, dog eared*, faded, frayed, gone to seed*, mangy, meager,… …   New thesaurus

  • shabby — ► ADJECTIVE (shabbier, shabbiest) 1) worn out or dilapidated. 2) dressed in old or worn clothes. 3) mean and unfair: a shabby trick. DERIVATIVES shabbily adverb shabbiness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • shabby — index decadent, dilapidated, inferior (lower in quality), penurious, poor (inferior in quality), slipshod Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • shabby — UK [ˈʃæbɪ] / US adjective Word forms shabby : adjective shabby comparative shabbier superlative shabbiest 1) a) old and in bad condition shabby clothes/furniture/buildings b) dressed in clothes that are old or in bad condition The children were… …   English dictionary

  • shabby — [[t]ʃæ̱bi[/t]] shabbier, shabbiest 1) ADJ GRADED Shabby things or places look old and in bad condition. His clothes were old and shabby... He walked past her into a tiny, shabby room. of the shabbiest and poorest areas of London. Syn:… …   English dictionary

  • shabby — shab|by [ ʃæbi ] adjective 1. ) old and in bad condition: shabby clothes/furniture/buildings a ) dressed in clothes that are old or in bad condition: The children were all so shabby and hungry. feel shabby: Linda felt shabby standing next to… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • shabby — adjective (shabbier; est) Etymology: obsolete English shab a low fellow Date: 1669 1. clothed with worn or seedy garments < a shabby hobo > 2. a. threadbare and faded from wear < a shabby sofa > b. ill kept …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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