Dictionary: D – DAD'DLE

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in the English alphabet, is the fourth letter and the third articulation. It holds the same place in the English, as in the Chaldee, Syriac, Hebrew, Samaritan, Greek and Latin alphabets. In the Arabic, it is the eighth; in the Russian, the fifth; and in the Ethiopic, the nineteenth letter. D is a dental articulation, formed by placing the end of the tongue against the gum just above the upper teeth. It is nearly allied to T, but is not so close a letter, or rather it does not interrupt the voice so suddenly as T, and in forming the articulation, there is a lingual and nasal sound, which has induced some writers to rank D among the lingual letters. It has but one sound, as in do, din, bad; and is never quiescent in English words, except in a rapid utterance of such words as handkerchief. As a numeral, D represents five hundred, and when a dash or stroke is placed over it thus, D̅, it denotes five thousand. As an abbreviation, D stands for Doctor; as M.D. Doctor of Medicine; D.T. Doctor of Theology, or S.T.D. Doctor of Sacred Theology; D.D. Doctor of Divinity, or dono dedit; D.D.D. dat, dicat, dedicat; and D.D.D.D. dignum Deo donum dedit.

DAB, n.

  1. A gentle blow with the hand.
  2. A small lump or mass of any thing soft or moist.
  3. Something moist or slimy thrown on one.
  4. In low language, an expert man. [See Dabster.]
  5. A small flat fish, of the genus Pleuronectes, of a dark brown color.

DAB, v.t. [Fr. dauber, or from the same root. It has the elements of dip, dub and tap, Gr. τυπτω, and of daub. Class Db, No. 3, 21, 28, 58.]

  1. To strike gently with the hand; to slap; to box. – Bailey.
  2. To strike gently with some soft or moist substance; as, to dab a sore with lint. – Sharp.

DAB'BED, pp.

Struck with something moist.

DAB'BING, ppr.

Striking gently with something moist.

DAB'BLE, v.i.

  1. To play in water; to dip the hands, throw water and splash about; to play in mud and water.
  2. To do any thing in a slight or superficial manner; to tamper; to touch here and there. You have, I think, been dabbling with the text. – Atterbury.
  3. To meddle; to dip into a content.

DAB'BLE, v.t. [Heb. טבל tabal, or from the root of dip, Goth. daupyan, Belgic dabben or dabbelen. See Dip.]

Literally, to dip a little or often: hence, to wet; to moisten; to spatter; to wet by little dips or strokes; to sprinkle. – Swift. Wiseman.


  1. One who plays in water or mud.
  2. One who dips slightly into any thing; one who meddles without going to the bottom; a superficial meddler; as, a dabbler in politics.


Dipping superficially or often; playing in water, or in mud; meddling.


In a dabbling manner.

DAB'CHICK, n. [dab or dip, and chick.]

A small waterfowl.

DAB'STER, n. [Qu. from adept, with ster, Sax. steoran, to steer.]

One who is skilled; one who is expert; a master of his business. [Not an elegant word. See Dapper.]

DA-CAPO, adv. [It.]

In music, a direction to close with the first strain.

DACE, n. [D. daas. Qu. Fr. vendoise.]

A fish, the Cyprinus leuciscus; a small river fish, resembling the roach. Walton.

DAC'TYL, n. [Gr. δακτυλος, a finger; L. dactylus; probably a shoot. See Digit.]

A poetical foot consisting of three syllables, the first long, and the others short, like the joints of a finger; as, tēgmĭnĕ, cārmĭnĕ.


Pertaining to a dactyl; reducing from three to two syllables. Scott's Essays.


A dactyl. Bp. Hall.


Pertaining to or consisting of dactyls; as, dactylic verses; a dactylic flute, a flute consisting of unequal intervals. Encyc.

DAC'TYL-IST, n. [from dactyl.]

One who writes flowing verse. Warton.

DAC-TYL'O-GLYPH, n. [Gr. δακτυλος, finger, and γλυφω, to engraph.]

An engrapher of stones for finger rings. Elmes.

DAC-TYL-OG'RA-PHY, n. [Gr. δακτυλος, and γραφω, to write.]

A description of engraved finger rings and precious stones.

DAC-TYL-OL'O-GY, n. [Gr. δακτυλος, finger, and λογος, discourse.]

  1. The act or the art of communicating ideas or thoughts by the fingers. Deaf and dumb persons acquire a wonderful dexterity in this art.
  2. The science which treats of the history and qualities of finger rings. Elmes.

DAC-TYL'O-MAN-CY, n. [Gr. δακτυλος, and μαντικη, divination.]

Divination by finger rings. Elmes.

DAD, or DAD'DY, n. [W. tad; Ir. taid; Arm. tad; Corn. tad or taz; ancient L. tata; Port. taita; Gypsy, dad, dada; Sans. tada; Hindoo dada; Russ. tiatia; Finn. taat.]

Father; a word used by infants, from whom it is taken. The first articulations of infants or young children are dental or labial; dental, in tad, dad, and labial, in mamma, papa.

DAD'DLE, v.i.

To walk with tottering, like a child or an old man. [Little used.]