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mottled

[mot-ld]
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adjective
  1. spotted or blotched in coloring.

Origin of mottled

First recorded in 1670–80; mottle + -ed2
Related formsun·mot·tled, adjective

mottle

[mot-l]
verb (used with object), mot·tled, mot·tling.
  1. to mark or diversify with spots or blotches of a different color or shade.
noun
  1. a diversifying spot or blotch of color.
  2. mottled coloring or pattern.

Origin of mottle

First recorded in 1670–80; probably back formation from motley
Related formsmot·tle·ment, nounmot·tler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mottled

mottled

adjective
  1. coloured with streaks or blotches of different shades

mottle

verb
  1. (tr) to colour with streaks or blotches of different shades
noun
  1. a mottled appearance, as of the surface of marble
  2. one streak or blotch of colour in a mottled surface

Word Origin

C17: back formation from motley
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

Word Origin and History for mottled

adj.

1670s, past participle adjective; see mottle (v.).

mottle

n.

1670s, probably a back-formation from motley.

mottle

v.

1670s; see mottle (n.). Related: Mottled; mottling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper