Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “shabby”

See all translations

shabby

adjective uk   /ˈʃæb.i/ us  

shabby adjective (BAD CONDITION)

C1 looking old and in bad condition because of being used for a long time or not being cared for: He wore a shabby old overcoat. Her home is a rented one-bedroom flat in a shabby part of town. The refugees were shabby (= wore old clothes in bad condition) and hungry.

shabby adjective (NOT FAIR)

C2 not honourable or fair; unacceptable: She spoke out about the shabby way the case had been handled. I felt the whole affair was a bit shabby.
shabbily
adverb uk   /-ɪ.li/ us  
shabbily dressed The hostages were shabbily treated when they came home.
shabbiness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
(Definition of shabby from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of shabby?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “shabby” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

work out

to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More