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Shabby vs Dilapidated vs Dingy vs Faded vs Seedy vs Threadbare

Shabbydilapidateddingyfadedseedythreadbare refer to the appearance of persons and of things and mean showing signs of wear and tear.

Shabby applies to persons and places and suggests a lack of freshness or newness in those items that contribute to appearance; sometimes the term applies directly to the things, especially clothes, which so contribute. Poverty is often suggested as the cause of this run-down condition but various other causes (as neglect or indifference) may also be suggested.

Dilapidated (compare dilapidate under RUIN ) implies a worse appearance than shabby, usually suggesting a broken-down or tumbledown condition resulting from neglectful lack of repairs or from careless abuse.

Dingy applies to what is no longer fresh or new in appearance and shows the effects of gradual soiling that dulls the colors or dims the brightness.

Faded also implies lack of freshness but it connotes the loss of vigor or brightness that shows that a person or thing has passed its prime and is revealing signs of drooping and withering.

Seedy does not go so far as shabby in implying deterioration and lack of freshness but it does suggest some loss of those signs that marked a person or thing as strong or at the peak of value and usefulness.

Seedy is also used in reference to a person who feels himself not really sick but not up to the mark.

Threadbare (see also TRITE ) in its basic use implies such wear of fabric that all nap is worn away and the threads are visible, but often this basic notion is lost and the emphasis is on the shabby state typical of or the fact of extreme grinding poverty.