Definition of shabby adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈʃæbi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃæbi//
    (shabbier, shabbiest) Describing clothes
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  1. 1(of buildings, clothes, objects, etc.) in poor condition because they have been used a lot synonym scruffy The outside of the house was beginning to look shabby. She wore shabby old jeans and a T-shirt. See related entries: Describing clothes
  2. 2(of a person) badly dressed in clothes that have been worn a lot synonym scruffy The old man was shabby and unkempt. I suddenly felt rather shabby and uncomfortable.
  3. 3(of behaviour) unfair or unreasonable synonym shoddy She tried to make up for her shabby treatment of him. a shabby affair It was a shabby way to treat visitors.
  4. Word Originmid 17th cent.: from dialect shab ‘scab’ (from a Germanic base meaning ‘itch’) + -y.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: shabby

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