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90s Slang You Should Know


[dap-uh l] /ˈdæp əl/
a spot or mottled marking, usually occurring in clusters.
an animal with a mottled skin or coat.
dappled; spotted:
a dapple horse.
verb (used with or without object), dappled, dappling.
to mark or become marked with spots.
Origin of dapple
First recorded in 1545-55; probably back formation from dappled Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dapple
Historical Examples
  • Two rode horses of a dark bay colour, the third a dapple grey, and the fourth a sorrel.

    The Blue Pavilions Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • No dapple of shadows was there, no rustle of leaves, no green, mossy trunks of trees.

    A Spoil of Office Hamlin Garland
  • He had followed the Duchess, but once in the castle, the absence of his dapple made him feel worried.

    The Story of Don Quixote Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • dapple had to lay down on all fours before the lads could bestride him.

    An English Grammar W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
  • The shadows of the fruited close dapple the feast-hall floor; There lie our dogs and dream and doze,And we return no more.

    Poems by the Way William Morris
  • She was as large as six elephants, and of a burnt sorrel colour with dapple grey spots; but, above all, she had a horrible tail.

  • He hated light, he loathed the shade, he scorned the meekness of the dapple, and he cursed the darkness.

    Cripps, the Carrier R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore
  • But, notwithstanding his tears and lamentations, he kept urging on his dapple to get far enough from the cart.

    Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • His eyes were skilled to observe in the moving dusk and dapple of green woods.

    Irish Fairy Tales James Stephens
  • And so, vexed and dejected though not hungry, without dismounting from dapple he followed in the footsteps of Rocinante.

British Dictionary definitions for dapple


to mark or become marked with spots or patches of a different colour; mottle
mottled or spotted markings
a dappled horse, etc
marked with dapples or spots
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dapple

early 15c. (implied in past participle adjective dappled), perhaps from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse depill "spot," Norwegian dape "puddle." Perhaps a back-formation from, or merger with, Middle English adjective dapple-gray "apple-gray" (late 14c.), based on resemblance to the markings on an apple (cf. Old Norse apalgrar "dapple-gray"), or, as it was used of gray horses with round blotches, perhaps via resemblance to apples themselves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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