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Dabble   /dˈæbəl/   Listen
Dabble

verb
(past & past part. dabbled; pres. part. dabbling)
1.
Dip a foot or hand briefly into a liquid.
2.
Play in or as if in water, as of small children.  Synonyms: paddle, splash around.
3.
Work with in an amateurish manner.  Synonyms: play around, smatter.  "He plays around with investments but he never makes any money"
4.
Bob forward and under so as to feed off the bottom of a body of water.



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"Dabble" Quotes from Famous Books



... his horrible presence it finally began to sap their courage. Besides, the lake fascinated Alpha, now but three years old but large and strong. He loved to wander by its shore and dabble in the water, but so long as the beast remained, an ever present danger was in this play. Besides there was the fear that he might escape the watchfulness of his parents and come in contact with one of ...
— Omega, the Man • Lowell Howard Morrow

... subject to cramps and chills has no business in the water, but if you start to go in swimming, go in all over. Don't be one of those chappies who prance along the beach, shivering and showing their skinny shapes, and then dabble their feet in the surf, pour a little sand in their hair, and think ...
— Old Gorgon Graham - More Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son • George Horace Lorimer

... troubled myself. I began to see more clearly that it doesn't do for a man of scruples to dabble in politics. I had a great regard for poor Johnny, and I felt no confidence in the colonel treating him with any consideration. In fact, I would not have insured Johnny's life for the next week at any conceivable premium. Again I thought it unlikely that, if we succeeded, the President ...
— A Man of Mark • Anthony Hope

... Henderson the very last person in the world to dabble in the occult, as they call it in the newspapers. I should have thought he ...
— The Twelfth Hour • Ada Leverson

... cheat God, and who do to some extent cheat themselves, by professing ignorance of the way which would lead them to His heart. Some of us have learned only too well to raise questions about the method of salvation instead of accepting it, and to dabble in theology instead of making sure work of return. Some of us would fain substitute a host of isolated actions, or apparent moral or religious observance, for the return of will and heart to God; and all who in their consciences ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... Why, yes. If Henry, there, will translate it And put it in verse and print as he promised To do when it happened. Will he do it? I doubt. He dislikes to dabble with rhyme and with measure. Says that good honest prose is the best and the sweetest If the words be well chosen, short, Saxon, and pithy. And that making of verse is the business of women, Of green boys at school, and of lovers ...
— The Busted Ex-Texan and Other Stories • W. H. H. Murray

... priests with hooves, the lovers with horns, Rise in the starlight, one by one, They draw their knives on the spurting throats, They smear the column with blood of goats, They dabble the blood on hair and lips And wait like stones for the moon's eclipse. They stand like stones and stare at the sky Where the moon leers down like a half-closed eye. . . In the green moonlight still they stand While wind flows over the darkened sand And brood on the soft forgotten ...
— The House of Dust - A Symphony • Conrad Aiken

... ducks in Tresham's little garden, next door to Sturk's. They make a precious noise, I can tell you, when it showers. Sturk threatens to shoot 'em. He's the artillery surgeon here; and Tom Larkin said, last night, it's because they only dabble and quack—and two of a trade, you know—ha! ha! ha! And what a night we had—dark as Erebus—pouring like pumps, by Jove. I'll remember it, I warrant you. Out on business—a medical man, you know, can't always choose—and ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... submission—to give these people, so to speak, a right to meddle and dabble in her heart? Was she to be wept over by Sister Angela—to confess her sins to Father Bowles—still worse, to Father Leadham? As she asked herself the question, she shrank in sudden passion from the whole world of ideas concerned—from ...
— Helbeck of Bannisdale, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... sported with the breeze. But not one of these leafy damsels had seen Proserpina. Then, going a little farther, Ceres would, perhaps, come to a fountain gushing out of a pebbly hollow in the earth, and would dabble with her hand in the water. Behold, up through its sandy and pebbly bed, along with the fountain's gush, a young woman with dripping hair would arise, and stand gazing at Mother Ceres, half out of the water, and undulating up and down with its ever-restless motion. But when the mother ...
— Myths That Every Child Should Know - A Selection Of The Classic Myths Of All Times For Young People • Various

... Cai, as she stepped down to the foreshore again in the ghostly light. "You can't have stayed to dabble your feet. Didn't think it wise, I s'pose? And I ...
— The Mayor of Troy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... has also become active. He desires to dabble in science. One day he studies the Arab mystics, Oriental legends, and the next, he studies the marine fauna, etc. His perceptions have never been so clear. His brain is in continual activity. "It is strange," he acknowledges, "what a different man I am becoming mentally from what I was formerly. ...
— Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... does not sweep away the cobwebs of romance from Catherine's imaginative mind, but the dark suspicions she harbours about General Tilney are not altogether inexplicable. He is so much less natural and so much more stagey than the other characters that he might reasonably be expected to dabble in the sinister. This time Catherine is misled by memories of the Sicilian Romance into weaving a mystery around the fate of Mrs. Tilney, whom she pictures receiving from the hands of her husband a nightly supply of coarse food. She watches in vain for "glimmering lights," like ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... fool, and for making you as bad. Poetry's not your business, you understand: I'm giving ye no encouragement to dabble with the fine arts. Science is the ladder for a working-man to climb to fame. In addition to which, the poet Keats, though he certainly speaks the very language of Nature, was a bit of a heathen, I'm afraid, and the fascination of him might be injurious in tender ...
— Jan of the Windmill • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... why I am not an artist—a great artist. I am hampered by an inheritance that allows me to live without working, so I don't do anything worth while. I only dabble at this and that. Some day, ...
— Amarilly of Clothes-line Alley • Belle K. Maniates

... a subtle change in the atmosphere, that all occult manifestations—for that night at least—were at an end. The ladies were, of course, dying to know what had happened; and like most ladies, who dabble in spiritualism, were ready to believe anything they were told. Hamar, who had no intention whatever of telling them what had actually occurred, satisfied ...
— The Sorcery Club • Elliott O'Donnell

... you," said I, "that you may continue the custom you have begun to bestow on me. If you gradually procure me the profit of all the occasional poems, and we do not consume them in mere feasting, I shall soon come to something. But then, you must not take it ill if I dabble also in your handicraft." Upon this, I told them what I had observed in their occupations, and for which I held myself fit at any rate. Each one had previously rated his services in money, and I asked them to assist me also in completing my establishment. Gretchen had listened ...
— Autobiography • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

... Since there are things that exist, a thing of all things there must needs be; In the thing of all things dabble we, just as ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... "I am the most miserable of men, a 'mute inglorious Milton' is nothing to me. Nature has created me a lover of the picturesque. In heart and soul I am an artist, I dabble in colours, I dream of lights and shades and glorious effects; but the power of working out my ideas is denied me. If I try to paint a tree my friends gibe at me. I am a poor literary hack; but I give ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... Neither the slashing, nor the puffing, nor the faintly praising notice will be meted out to them. There will be a conspiracy of silence. The very circulating libraries will be threatened, and coffins (stolen from undertakers who dabble in romance) will be laid at Mr. Mudie's door, unless he casts off the amateur in fiction. The professionals will march through rapine to emancipation. They will strike off the last gyves that fetter the noble art of romance, and in five ...
— Lost Leaders • Andrew Lang

... his brethren at every street corner!" continued she. "Well; I didn't mean to dabble in witchcraft to-day, further than the lighting of my pipe, but a witch I am, and a witch I'm likely to be, and there's no use trying to shirk it. I'll make a man of my scarecrow, were it only for ...
— Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... a vital lie but a lie?" the White Logic challenges. "Come. Fill your glass and let us examine these vital liars who crowd your bookshelves. Let us dabble in William James ...
— John Barleycorn • Jack London

... love for the excitement of gambling- -take him away from the betting ring and he goes straight to the share market to dabble in gold and silver shares. The Great Humbug Gold Mining Company is floated on the Melbourne market—a perfect fortune in itself, which influential men are floating in a kind of semi-philanthropic manner to benefit mankind at large, and themselves ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... come of it," said Grey. "India has spoiled you. Men who dabble too much in that sort of thing go mad. The brain is a delicate instrument. Do ...
— Revenge! • by Robert Barr

... are ladies of my acquaintance who dabble in charity; but they're not in the position of the duke. It would take them weeks to get Millicent into the Bellingham Home, while, if he nominated her, she would be dragged into it at full speed. She wouldn't be given time ...
— Happy Pollyooly - The Rich Little Poor Girl • Edgar Jepson

... physician. He tells just enough of the story to convict himself, but suppresses everything which may convict her. How know I that this resistance in the carriage was more than a sham? How know I that he did not attend her in the house? That they did not dabble together on their way through the dark piazza—along the stairs?—Nay, what proof is there that he did not find his way, with polluting purpose, into the very chamber?—that chamber, from which, not three weeks after, ...
— Confession • W. Gilmore Simms

... "it's a most unwarrantable impertinence for a fellow like that to want to dabble his ignorant and coarse hand in the hallowed secrets of the microcosm. Not to one's nearest and dearest friend, not to one's mother or brother would one babble promiscuously on such awful themes; and ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... in one of God's rivers in the open air seems to me a sort of cheerful solemnity or semi-pagan act of worship. To dabble among dishes in a bedroom may perhaps make clean the body; but the imagination takes no share ...
— The Pocket R.L.S. - Being Favourite Passages from the Works of Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... him with the sense of power. In that warmth certain of his prejudices and inhibitions began to melt away; the display of feelings and sensibilities could not be wicked or even undesirable if it prepared the way for the gospel by softening the heart. He began to dabble in emotion himself, and that was a dangerous matter, for he knew nothing whatever about it save that, if he felt strongly, he could arouse strong feeling in others. Day by day he unwittingly became less sure of the moral beauty of restraint, and ardours which he had never dreamed ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... said the old gentleman, "why do you people dabble in matters you don't understand? Come here, Tweddle, and let me show you. Can't you see what a miserable sham the thing is—a cheap, tawdry imitation of the splendid classic type? Why, by merely exhibiting such a thing, you're vitiating public ...
— The Tinted Venus - A Farcical Romance • F. Anstey

... with it, should that be necessary. Socialism, therein lies the future, the new instrument of government; and the kings tottering on their thrones, the middle-class presidents of anxious republics, the ambitious plotters who dream of power, all dabble in socialism! They all agree that the capitalist organisation of the State is a return to pagan times, to the olden slave-market; and they all talk of breaking for ever the iron law by which the labour of human beings has become so much merchandise, subject to supply and demand, with wages calculated ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... chatted, with the salt breeze lifting our hair, and fanning our brown faces, and going out far on the point, we came upon a little shining lake, surrounded by rocks, upon which we could sit, and dabble our feet in the water. It was no place more than a foot deep, and we decided to wade round in it. It was a comical sight to see us navigating ourselves in procession through that water, but it was a very questionable joke, when Milly Sayre jumped and screamed, and ran ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... the measure of his success-power. The mere fact of his failure has interest; but how did he take his defeat? What did he do next? Was he discouraged? Did he slink out of sight? Did he conclude that he had made a mistake in his calling, and dabble in something else? Or was he up and at it again with a determination ...
— The True Citizen, How To Become One • W. F. Markwick, D. D. and W. A. Smith, A. B.

... said he with the book, "how comes it that a young gentleman like you, a sedate student at the first appearance, should dabble in stocks and that sort ...
— The Confidence-Man • Herman Melville

... began to dabble in politics. And my views of political subjects were as much out of the ordinary way as my views on matters pertaining to religion. I was a republican. I would have no King, no Queen, no House of Lords, and no State Church. I would abolish the laws of entail and primogeniture, ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... altogether in length indeed, but in virtue and propriety; for as the unicorn purified pools and fountains from filth and venom, so that other animals came and drank securely there afterwards, in the like manner others might water their nags, and dabble after him without fear of shankers, carnosities, gonorrhoeas, buboes, crinkams, and such other plagues caught by those who venture to quench their amorous thirst in a common puddle; for with his nervous horn he removed all the infection ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... of them, too," Burke nodded. "I have had my men out shadowing them and their friends. They tell me that the Annenbergs hold salons—I suppose you would call them that—attended by numbers of men and women of high social and intellectual position who dabble in radicalism and all sorts of things." "Who are the other leaders?" asked Craig. ...
— The War Terror • Arthur B. Reeve

... B.—In their official or unofficial quality, numerous Americans amorously dabble in International questions and laws. How much the rights of war, etc., have been discussed; how many letters, signed, anonymous, official and unofficial, have been published—and very little, if any light thrown on these questions. What a cruel fate of a future historian, ...
— Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863 • Adam Gurowski

... less chance than when he starts his "daily" for a living. Yet the man who more than any other is responsible for the industrial regeneration of this continent started in life as a newsboy on the Grand Trunk Railway. Thomas Alva Edison was then about fifteen years of age. He had already begun to dabble in chemistry, and had fitted up a small itinerant laboratory. One day, as he was performing some occult experiment, the train rounded a curve, and the bottle of sulphuric acid broke. There followed a series of ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... the buyers and sellers of stocks are indirectly performing the function of adjusting demand and supply, and so regulating industry. So far as they are expert business men trained in the knowledge of a particular market this may be so. So far as they dabble in the market in the hope of profiting from a favourable turn, they appear rather as gamblers. I will not pretend to determine which of the two is the larger class. I would point out only that, on the face of the facts, the profits derived from this particular ...
— Liberalism • L. T. Hobhouse

... the convenience of sailors and others of that class, at Dieppe, Calais,"—he shrugged his shoulders, comprehensively—"are impossible as resorts. In catering for the true devotees—for those who, unlike De Quincey, plunge and do not dabble—for those who seek to explore the ultimate regions of poppyland, for those who have learnt the mystery from the real masters in Asia and not in Europe—the enterprise conducted by Madame Jean supplied a want long and bitterly experienced. I ...
— The Yellow Claw • Sax Rohmer

... was arranged between the painter and my brother that they should depart the next day but one; they then began to talk of art. 'I'll stick to the heroic,' said the painter; 'I now and then dabble in the comic, but what I do gives me no pleasure, the comic is so low; there is nothing like the heroic. I am engaged here on a heroic picture,' said he, pointing to the canvas; 'the subject is "Pharaoh dismissing Moses from Egypt," after the last plague—the ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... excellent. But what is Mr. Collins' explanation. "Perhaps the simplest solution of the problem is to accept the hypothesis that in early life he was in an attorney's office (!), that he there contracted a love for the law which never left him, that as a young man in London, he continued to study or dabble in it for his amusement, to stroll in leisure hours into the Courts, and to frequent the society of lawyers. On no other supposition is it possible to explain the attraction which the law evidently had for him, and his minute and undeviating accuracy in a subject where no layman who has ...
— Is Shakespeare Dead? - from my Autobiography • Mark Twain

... He had already made a small stake on stocks, secured a fair return from an investment in oil, and came out about even on the race-track. Up to this time, however, he had never indulged in the luxury of a theatrical venture, notwithstanding the hankering he had at times to dabble in that direction. As soon as he saw Handy he called him aside and began a little preliminary skirmishing, and in a roundabout way started in to lay bare the strenuous thoughts that were agitating his mind. He opened up the subject by ...
— A Pirate of Parts • Richard Neville

... through,' as one young staff officer observed; 'it is taking a liberty with a man. Burnett always seems as though he is trying to turn a fellow inside out, to get at the other side of him'—not a very eloquent description of a would-be philosopher who loved to dabble a little ...
— Lover or Friend • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... that? Thou mayst say the same of half our Northern youth! They think it grand to dabble with seminary priests in hiding, and talk big about their conscience and the like, but when they've seen a neighbour or two pay down a heavy fine for recusancy, they think better of it, and a good wife settles their brains to jog to church ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in process of time Hiero (or, as he was then called, Henry) took it into his head to return to the original family mansion and live there. No objection was made; in truth, Henry's oddities, awkwardnesses, and propensity to dabble in queer branches of research and experiment may have allayed the parting pangs. Back he blundered, therefore, to the banks of the Hudson, and established himself in his birthplace. What he did there during the next few years will never be known. Grisly stories about the man in the brick house ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... the fashion of every writer of eminence, as well as every pretender to letters, among the Romans to dabble with the drama, there were a multitude of tragic poets whose names were soon forgotten, and many whose names alone are incidentally mentioned while their works shared the fate of their bodies, and were buried in their graves. Gracelius wrote a tragedy called ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 6, June 1810 • Various

... am free to confess that I have no personal desire to dabble in philanthropy, or conduct schools of any kind; my hands are full ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... Indeed Mr. Waite, who certainly cannot be suspected of "anti-Semitism," goes so far as to suggest that the gift of ceremonial magic was "the answer of Jewry to Christendom as a counter-blast" to "centuries of persecution."[838] It would be well if every Gentile who has been tempted to dabble in occultism were to realize this source ...
— Secret Societies And Subversive Movements • Nesta H. Webster

... up to that kind of thing," Geof answered; "you know I don't pretend to paint. My business is with bricks and mortar. It's only when I'm loafing that I dabble in colours." ...
— A Venetian June • Anna Fuller

... were wet through, he would pace up and down the room with a vacant expression of countenance, and his eyes distended, the singularity of his aspect being often increased by an unshaven beard. Then he would seat himself at his table and write; and afterwards get up again to the washhand basin and dabble and hum as before. Ludicrous as were these scenes, no one dared venture to notice them, or to disturb him while engaged in his inspiring ablutions, for these were ...
— Sketch of Handel and Beethoven • Thomas Hanly Ball

... tell you that. I never myself trust him with a case, for I will not employ barristers who dabble in politics. But you can get his address from the 'Gazette des Tribuneaux'; he is one of ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... see her, whether I will or no: since she is, as it seems, a musical blue-stocking,[18] ready to force herself on anybody just to gratify her vanity by claiming admiration for her musical proficiency, which nobody would acknowledge unless she were a queen. Out on these queens, that dabble in matters that they do not understand, and meddle in other people's business! But now I will steal a march on her by making my escape betimes, and I will go this very moment and order my horse to be got ready, to give her the slip, in case she may be meditating anything ...
— The Substance of a Dream • F. W. Bain

... earlier and idler parts of his life, Howard had been pleased to dabble somewhat in medicine, after the manner of the gentlemen of his time. This stood him in good part upon his travels, and made him familiar with the various forms of disease that especially afflicted prisons and the people ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8 • Various

... implacable critic; "when women were content with looking pretty before marriage, and with good housekeeping after, they were uninteresting certainly, but they were respectable. Now they dabble in all things; are weakly aesthetic, weakly scientific, weakly controversial, and wholly prosy, and contemptible." Dabbling is pitiful, certainly, and weakness has few allies, but let us do justice even to the weak dabblers. AEsthetic, or scientific, or controversial training ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... too, seem disposed to prove that they have something else to attend to, besides setting off and conserving their beauty. We have with us a youth sent for sale to Tripoli by the Bashaw of Fezzan, who it seems must dabble in slave-dealing, notwithstanding his imprecations against the merchants of Ghadames for the same crime. He is from Mandara, and was kidnapped by the Tibboos. This is the captain of all the sham-fighters, and ...
— Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846 • James Richardson

... being an onlooker," the Prince reflected. "There go the spirit of Russia and the spirit of Germany. You dabble in these things, my friend Dorminster. Can you guess what they are met for—for whom ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... but there were lovely clear pools on the rocky shore, natural stone baths left full of water when the tide went out, sheltered from the wind by tall, dark, precipitous cliffs, and warmed by the sun; and there they used to dabble by the hour together. Anne went with them, and it was a pretty sight, the four young women in white chemises that clung to them when wet, and the three lovely children—little white nudities with bright brown hair—scampering ...
— The Beth Book - Being a Study of the Life of Elizabeth Caldwell Maclure, a Woman of Genius • Sarah Grand

... or less interest in matters pertaining to surgery, at least as far as it is desirable that a boy should dabble in such things. He had borrowed many books from Dr. Temple, and on two occasions had set a broken arm in a fashion that won him words of praise ...
— Fred Fenton Marathon Runner - The Great Race at Riverport School • Allen Chapman

... Child was not permitted to dabble in the pan of soapy water, he revenged himself by bringing Cash's mitten and throwing that in, and crying "Ee? Ee?" with a shameless delight because it sailed round and round until Cash turned and saw it, and ...
— Cabin Fever • B. M. Bower

... and with that queer morality of the Camp which, if it swallows a camel now and again, never strains at a gnat, how healthy and wholesome, and even pure, are your romances! You never gloat over sin, nor dabble with an ugly curiosity in the corruptions of sense. The passions in your tales are honourable and brave, the motives are clearly human. Honour, Love, Friendship make the threefold cord, the clue your knights and dames follow ...
— Letters to Dead Authors • Andrew Lang

... brother, the entomologist, who can only invent new ways of hatching out wire-worms! Yet all may really depend on the first chance direction which led one brother as a boy to buy a butterfly net, and sent the other into the school laboratory to dabble with an electric ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... had been ducks, we might dabble in mud: Or dogs, we might play till it ended in blood; So foul, or so fierce are their natures. But Thomas and William, and such pretty names, Should be cleanly and harmless as doves, or as lambs, Those ...
— Divine Songs • Isaac Watts

... depth, at any rate," quoth he. "I am but ill read in ancient controversies, though I know you dabble in them." ...
— Joyce Morrell's Harvest - The Annals of Selwick Hall • Emily Sarah Holt

... "To-night they love who never loved before; to-night let him who loves love all the more." The words have unconsciously arranged themselves, even in English, as poetry; those who know Thomas Gowles best, best know how unlikely it is that he would willingly dabble in the worldly art of verse-fashioning. Think of my reflections with a painful, shameful, and, above all, undeserved death before me, while all the fragrant air was ringing with lascivious merriment. My impression ...
— In the Wrong Paradise • Andrew Lang

... as luck. Live on a crust, sir; that's the only way for a man to get on in the world." The old gentleman quite forgets that if his first venture in the Chutnee East Indiaman had been a failure; or his first dabble in the stocks had not been followed by the battle of Leipsic; or his senior partner, who had nine-tenths of the profits of the business, had not departed this life suddenly in an apoplectic fit, he would have held a very different position in the world, and probably ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... the house? A place to live in. And that means far more than eating and sleeping and having a place for one's clothes. There must be not only a place for everything, but a place for everybody in the ideal house. The boys who wish to dabble in electricity, the girls who wish to entertain their friends in their own way, the tired father who wishes to read his newspaper "in peace," the younger children who want to pop corn or blow bubbles or play games, all must be planned for. There ...
— Vocational Guidance for Girls • Marguerite Stockman Dickson

... continue his researches. The book appeared, and a vile rag-bag it was, like the life of a man written by a private detective from the reminiscences of under-servants. The worst of it is that such a compilation brings a man money, because there are always plenty of people who like to dabble in mud; and a ghoul is the most impervious of beings, probably because a ghoul of this species regards himself merely as an unprejudiced seeker after truth, and claims to be what he would ...
— The Silent Isle • Arthur Christopher Benson

... dabble in the water, Dinny," said Dick, wickedly. "The crocodiles snap at hands or feet held over ...
— Off to the Wilds - Being the Adventures of Two Brothers • George Manville Fenn

... were too expensive for the common person, but not so for the bourgeoisie, nor for numerous nobles. Indeed, it became quite the fashion in society to be a "savant," a scientist, a philosopher, to dabble in chemistry, perhaps even to have a little laboratory or a telescope, and to dazzle ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... his feet in despair, cried out in a voice that was like to break my heart, though I could not make out one word of his paraphernally. It minded me, by all the world, of a wheen cats fuffing and fighting through ither, and whiles something that sounded like "Sugar, sugar, measure the cord," and "dabble dabble." It was worse than the most outrageous Gaelic ever spoken in the height of passion ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - tailor in Dalkeith • D. M. Moir

... an uncommon type,—a type not strong enough to live life healthily, just strong enough to dabble in life, to trifle with emotions, to experiment with other people's lives. Indeed, I am not angry, dear; I am only—sorry; for you have played with me very nicely indeed, and very boyishly, and the summer has ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... Now, look here, Kettle. This mystery game has gone on long enough, and you've got to be put on the ground floor, like the rest of us. Did you ever dabble in stocks?" ...
— A Master of Fortune • Cutcliffe Hyne

... Romans, more burden a man's arm than they relieve his head. I would fain know how it was that the Persians, so long ago and in the infancy of luxury, made ventilators where they wanted them, and planted shades, as Xenophon reports they did. I love rain, and to dabble in the dirt, as well as ducks do. The change of air and climate never touches me; every sky is alike; I am only troubled with inward alterations which I breed within myself, and those are not so frequent in travel. I am hard to be got out, but being ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... gracefully to the simple ration, and cease to dabble with frying-pans. Cooks to their aprons, and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, Issue 45, July, 1861 • Various

... the blood strain back from their blanched faces Into their quivering hearts, with unknown dread, As that accuser pointed to the shape Before his feet. "Dogs, will ye lap his blood Before ye die? Make haste; for it grows cold! Ye will not, will not even dabble your hands In that red puddle of flesh, what? Are ye Spaniards? Come, come, I'll look at you, perchance there's one That's but a demi-devil and holds you back." And with the word Drake stepped among ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... your ideas—you were a democrat and republican, with a great enthusiasm for the United States and for the story of Abraham Lincoln. But you were never faddist or doctrinaire, and your practical bent showed itself in the keen interest you took in the noticing of political economy in which I used to dabble, and which we used to discuss by the hour. You seemed, without having studied text-books, to have an intuitive grasp of economic and fiscal truths which astonished me and others much better qualified ...
— The Adventure of Living • John St. Loe Strachey

... Christian profession to the worst of purposes. But this does not prove that there is anything defective or wrong about the Christian religion. No, by no means. If clergymen descend from their sacred vocation to dabble with politics, and a thousand other things that a minister of Christ should not touch; or to use their ministerial influence to accomplish the most diabolical purposes, and thereby bring reproach on the Christian name, and a grievous curse on ...
— A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin - or, An Essay on Slavery • A. Woodward

... that the least discussed issue, the most prominent one of the war, according to Smooth's opinion, was in regard to who should be the greatest toad in the European puddle? Your European puddle is no ordinary affair; kings and emperors only dabble in it at the expense of their people. I viewed with some interest this European cesspool. In the centre there was seated on a pole, with his arms folded, and having an air of assumed independence, a corpulent old gentleman, whose face fused broad and red, like a full moon in ...
— The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth • Timothy Templeton

... into magnificent company, and modern taste finds that he deserved it; and certainly, me judice, nothing can be more purely artistic than a fine Scarabaeus, and the fascination that comes over whoever has ventured to dabble in that kind of wares is as dangerous as the chances of play. Be content with a single one! If you once get into comparison, you have abandoned yourself to the witchery of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866 • Various

... repeated my father, laughing and frowning at the same time; "what will you be at twenty, if you dabble in metaphysics before you are ten? Come, I must set you to study Euclid; that will sober your wild head a little." I took the book with great glee, delighted to have a new field of inquiry, but soon threw it aside. Mathematics and I could ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth

... darkness, dost thou hope to stay Time's dread advance till thou hast had thy day? Dost think the Strangler will release his hold Because, forsooth, some fibs remain untold? No, no—beneath thy multiplying load Of years thou canst not tarry on the road To dabble in the blood thy leaden feet Have pressed from bosoms that have ceased to beat Of reputations margining thy way, Nor wander from the path new truth to slay. Tell to thyself whatever lies thou wilt, Catch as thou canst at pennies got by guilt— Straight down to death this ...
— Black Beetles in Amber • Ambrose Bierce

... Her movements succeeded each other with such airiness and grace that she seemed not a creature of this world but a daughter of the atmosphere, as sung in the poems of Ossian. She ran toward a piece of water, shook one of her legs lightly to cast off her shoe, and began to dabble her foot, white as alabaster, in the current, admiring, perhaps, the undulations she thus produced upon the surface of the water. Then she knelt down at the edge of the stream and amused herself, like a child, in casting in her long tresses and pulling them abruptly ...
— Adieu • Honore de Balzac

... presents itself to them with attractions not accounted for in this meagre train of advantages, and that they are on better terms with it than many people who have made a better bargain. They lie in the sunshine; they dabble in the sea; they wear bright rags; they fall into attitudes and harmonies; they assist at an eternal conversazione. It is not easy to say that one would have them other than they are, and it certainly would make an immense difference should they be better fed. The number of persons ...
— Italian Hours • Henry James



Words linked to "Dabble" :   occupy, busy, splash around, souse, plunge, dip, dunk, douse, bob, play



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