Mid 17th c. French atabis < Arabic attabi < ult. from Arabic al-Attabiya, the name of a section of Baghdad, Iraq, which is associated with the manufacture of a certain type of waved silk; see also taffeta, another type of silk whose name derives from the Persian taftah "woven cloth" and shares a similar etymological origin.
- (uncountable) A kind of waved silk, usually called watered silk, manufactured like taffeta, but thicker and stronger. The watering is given to it by calendering.
- (uncountable) A mixture of lime with shells, gravel, or stones, in equal proportions, with an equal proportion of water. When dry, this becomes as hard as rock.
- (countable) A brindled cat
- (countable, archaic) An old maid or gossip.
- (An old maid or gossip): See Wikisaurus:old woman
tabby (not comparable)
- Having a wavy or watered appearance; as, a tabby waistcoat.
- Brindled; diversified in color; as, a tabby cat.