Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[stip-uh l] /ˈstɪp əl/
verb (used with object), stippled, stippling.
to paint, engrave, or draw by means of dots or small touches.
noun, Also, stippling
the method of painting, engraving, etc., by stippling.
stippled work; a painting, engraving, or the like, executed by means of dots or small spots.
Origin of stipple
1660-70; < Dutch stippelen, frequentative of stippen to dot, derivative of stip dot
Related forms
stippler, noun
unstippled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for stipple
Historical Examples
  • The student will notice in particular the stipple effect in the reproduction.

    Crayon Portraiture Jerome A. Barhydt
  • The stipple manner of engraving was a curious development of the art.

    Engraving for Illustration Joseph Kirkbride
  • She wanted to know the difference between a mezzotint and a stipple print.

    One Man in His Time

    Ellen Glasgow
  • This shows the stipple effect in the face and drapery, and a broken line effect in the background.

    Crayon Portraiture Jerome A. Barhydt
  • The foregoing illustration is the first or ground work for the stipple effect produced by the aid of the fingers.

    Crayon Portraiture Jerome A. Barhydt
  • You can tone down any oil color, however, by stippling it with a stipple brush dipped in a pan of dry color, or plaster Paris.

  • If the color when put on appears too strong and conspicuous, stipple the surface with a little plaster Paris, to tone it down.

  • The land area is usually clearly distinguished from the water area by a tint or stipple.

    Nautical Charts G. R. Putnam
  • Take another art, that of stipple engraving printed in colours.

  • An examination of the method of shading also bears witness to a transition, for there is observable both smear and stipple work.

    Stained Glass Tours in England Charles Hitchcock Sherrill
British Dictionary definitions for stipple


verb (transitive)
to draw, engrave, or paint using dots or flecks
to apply paint, powder, etc, to (something) with many light dabs
to give (wet paint, cement, etc) a granular effect
the technique of stippling or a picture produced by or using stippling
Derived Forms
stippler, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Dutch stippelen, from stippen to prick, from stip point
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for stipple

1670s, from Dutch stippelen "to make points," frequentative of stippen "to prick, speckle," from stip "a point," probably ultimately from PIE root *st(e)ig- "pointed" (see stick (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for stipple

Word Value for stipple

Scrabble Words With Friends