from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To splash or spatter with or as if with a liquid: "The moon hung over the harbor dabbling the waves with gold” ( Katherine Mansfield).
- intransitive v. To splash liquid gently and playfully.
- intransitive v. To undertake something superficially or without serious intent: "The restaurant business entails more than . . . dabbling in interior design” ( Andy Birsh).
- intransitive v. To bob forward and under in shallow water so as to feed off the bottom.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To partially wet (something) by splashing or dipping; connotes playfulness.
- v. To participate or have an interest in, but not so seriously.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To wet by little dips or strokes; to spatter; to sprinkle; to moisten; to wet.
- intransitive v. To play in water, as with the hands; to paddle or splash in mud or water.
- intransitive v. To work in slight or superficial manner; to do in a small way; to tamper; to meddle.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To dip a little and often; hence, to wet; moisten; spatter; sprinkle.
- To play in water, as with the hands; splash or play, as in water.
- To do anything in a slight or superficial manner; touch or try here and there; dip into anything: with in: as, to dabble in railway shares; to dabble in literature.
- To tamper; meddle.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. work with in an amateurish manner
- v. bob forward and under so as to feed off the bottom of a body of water
- v. dip a foot or hand briefly into a liquid
- v. play in or as if in water, as of small children
Possibly from Dutch dabbelen, frequentative of dabben, to strike, tap.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From dab (Wiktionary)