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[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.
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Examples from the Web for stippling
Historical Examples
  • The best colour we reach is got by stippling; but this not quite right.

  • stippling and hatching are applied to the flesh and to the folds of the draperies.

    Chats on Oriental China J. F. Blacker
  • After the stippling the graining may be done in oil by wiping out.

    Graining and Marbling Frederick Maire
  • stippling and hatching is the going over our work with dots or crossed lines.

    Where Art Begins Hume Nisbet
  • stippling: more or less as shading or value effect or border.

    Mohave Pottery Alfred L. Kroeber
  • The best color we reach is got by stippling; but this is not quite right.

  • There has been too much credit taken by the Neo-Impressionists for the discovery of this stippling technique.

    Modern Painting, Its Tendency and Meaning Willard Huntington Wright
  • 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.

  • Taggi raised an egg-patterned snout from a hollow and licked at the stippling of greenish yolk matting his fur.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • The graining may be done with or without stippling, but if the stippling is well done it will improve it.

    Graining and Marbling Frederick Maire
British Dictionary definitions for stippling


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
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Word Origin and History for stippling



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
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stippling in Medicine

stippling stip·pling (stĭp'lĭng)

  1. A speckling of a blood cell or other structure with fine dots when exposed to a basic stain as a result of the presence of free basophil granules in the cell protoplasm.

  2. The orange-peel appearance of normal gums.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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