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[spek-uh l] /ˈspɛk əl/
a small speck, spot, or mark, as on skin.
speckled coloring or marking.
verb (used with object), speckled, speckling.
to mark with or as with speckles.
Origin of speckle
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50; See origin at speck, -le
Related forms
speckledness, noun
unspeckled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for speckle
Historical Examples
  • No one else could detect a spot or speckle on her at a casual glance.

    On the Track Henry Lawson
  • Mrs. speckle (that was his mother) was just as proud of him as she could be; but foolish Brownie thought her too strict.

  • To be sure, Mrs. speckle did not keep a looking-glass, and I suppose poor Brownie had no idea how very absurd he looked.

  • One day speckle, the big hen, made a great fuss because her brood of ducklings went into the water.

  • Out of the yard bounded Rover barking heartily and, from her stall, speckle mooed a welcome.

    Little Tom V. Tille
  • One morning, before going to the field, the Godmother placed Tom on the floor as usual, and then went out to get speckle.

    Little Tom V. Tille
  • When speckle turned her head, Tom sat quietly, then got up and started for a walk along her neck and head.

    Little Tom V. Tille
  • The hills around, which stand up darkly against a speckle of stars, are all discussed for you.

    Plum Pudding

    Christopher Morley
  • Hoyle had the peas in a tin pail, and mother rode Aunt Sally's speckle and carried the biscuit in a pan on front.

    The Mountain Girl Payne Erskine
  • She had been cherishing a secret hope that she might get a few eggs from Miss Pettus to complete a setting for speckle.

    Oldfield Nancy Huston Banks
British Dictionary definitions for speckle


a small or slight mark usually of a contrasting colour, as on the skin, a bird's plumage, or eggs
(transitive) to mark with or as if with speckles
Derived Forms
speckled, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch spekkel; see speck
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 speckle

c.1400 (implied in speckled), probably related to Old English specca "small spot, speck" (see speck) or from a related Middle Dutch or Middle High German word. Related: Speckled; speckling. The noun is first attested mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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