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From Middle English daubere, equivalent to daub +‎ -er.


dauber (plural daubers)

  1. (derogatory) One who, or that which, daubs; especially, a coarse, unskillful painter.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:unskilled person
    • 1853, Shearjashub Spooner, Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3), page 140:
      After he had exerted all his powers to produce a masterpiece of art, the canons, upon viewing the picture, pronounced it a contemptible performance, and the artist a miserable dauber; and Vandyck could hardly obtain payment for his work.
    • 1869, Louisa May Alcott, Good Wives
      I want to be great, or nothing. I won't be a common-place dauber, so I don't intend to try any more.
    • 2015, Erich Maria Remarque, The Promised Land, Random House (→ISBN), page 412:
      I'm not a good painter; I'm a dauber who can get a good likeness. Van Gogh or Cézanne would never have made it; I was given a bottle of Beaujolais and a set of directions.
  2. (copperplate printing) A pad or ball of rags, covered with canvas, for inking plates; a dabber.
  3. A type of thick marker pen used to mark a bingo card.
    Synonyms: dabber, dobber
  4. (archaic) A low and gross flatterer.
  5. The mud wasp; the mud dauber.







  1. (dated) to hit; to strike
  2. (by extension) to insult; to denigrate; to defame


Further readingEdit

Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit


Origin obscure. Probably from a merger of Latin dealbāre (to whiten), Frankish *dubban (to hit, push), and Old Norse dubba (to dub, arm, equip, furnish).



  1. to whiten; whitewash
  2. to provide with; to furnish with
  3. to hit; to strike
  4. to insult; to denigrate; to defame


This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -er. The forms that would normally end in *-b, *-bs, *-bt are modified to p, s, t. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Related termsEdit


  • English: daub
  • French: dauber