English edit

Etymology edit

From shab (scab) +‎ -y, or directly from an alteration of scabby. Cognate with Scots shabby (in poor health, ill), Dutch schabbig (poor, needy, shabby), Middle Low German schabbich (miserable), German schäbig (shabby), Swedish skabbig (scabby), Swedish sjabbig (shabby, mangy, scruffy).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈʃæb.i/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æbi

Adjective edit

shabby (comparative shabbier, superlative shabbiest)

  1. (of clothing, etc.) Torn or worn; unkempt.
    They lived in a tiny apartment, with some old, shabby furniture.
    • 1904–1905, Baroness Orczy [i.e., Emma Orczy], “The Affair at the Novelty Theatre”, in The Case of Miss Elliott, London: T[homas] Fisher Unwin, published 1905, →OCLC; republished as popular edition, London: Greening & Co., 1909, OCLC 11192831, quoted in The Case of Miss Elliott (ebook no. 2000141h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg of Australia, February 2020:
      Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
    • 1951 October, R. S. McNaught, “Lines of Approach”, in Railway Magazine, page 703:
      Another place where, from the aesthetic point of view, a long tunnel would have been a real blessing, is East London as viewed from the carriage window on the old Great Eastern line. Despite a vast change from crowded slums to tracts of wasteland, due to its grim wartime experience, this approach still provides a shabby and unworthy introduction to the great capital.
  2. (of a person) Wearing ragged, very worn, or dirty clothing.
    The fellow arrived looking rather shabby after journeying so far.
  3. Mean; despicable.
    shabby treatment
  4. Poor; showing little effort or talent.
    His painting is not too shabby.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References edit

shabby”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.