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From Middle English daub (noun), from Middle English dauben (to plaster or whitewash; cover with clay; bespatter, verb), from Old Northern French dauber (to whitewash; plaster), of uncertain origin. Probably from Latin dealbāre (to whiten thoroughly).



daub (countable and uncountable, plural daubs)

  1. Excrement or clay used as a bonding material in construction (compare wattle and daub).
  2. A soft coating of mud, plaster, etc.
  3. A crude or amateurish painting.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


daub (third-person singular simple present daubs, present participle daubing, simple past and past participle daubed)

  1. (intransitive) To apply (something) to a surface in hasty or crude strokes.
    The artist just seemed to daub on paint at random and suddenly there was a painting.
  2. (transitive) To apply something to (a surface) in hasty or crude strokes.
    • Bible, Exodus ii. 3
      She took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch.
  3. (transitive) To paint (a picture, etc.) in a coarse or unskilful manner.
    • I. Watts
      If a picture is daubed with many bright and glaring colours, the vulgar admire it as an excellent piece.
    • Dryden
      a lame, imperfect piece, rudely daubed over
  4. To cover with a specious or deceitful exterior; to disguise; to conceal.
    • Shakespeare
      So smooth he daubed his vice with show of virtue.
  5. To flatter excessively or grossly.
    • Smollett
      I can safely say, however, that, without any daubing at all, I am very sincerely your very affectionate, humble servant.
  6. To put on without taste; to deck gaudily.
    • Dryden
      Let him be daubed with lace.


See also[edit]