a speck; a small bit: a fleck of dirt.
a spot or small patch of color, light, etc.: the dapple mare with flecks of gray.
a spot or mark on the skin, as a freckle.

verb (used with object)

to mark with a fleck or flecks; spot; dapple.

Origin of fleck

1350–1400; Middle English flekked spotted; akin to Old Norse flekkr spot, streak, Old High German flec (German Fleck), Middle Low German, Middle Dutch vlecken to soil
Related formsfleck·less, adjectivefleck·less·ly, adverbfleck·y, adjectiveun·flecked, adjective
Can be confusedflecks flex

Synonyms for fleck

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fleck

Contemporary Examples of fleck

Historical Examples of fleck

  • Any scintilla or fleck of truth I can pick off from a revolutionary, I take but I will not take him.

  • There was not a fleck of cloud on all the sky, nor of mist on all the hills.

    The Orphans of Glen Elder

    Margaret Murray Robertson

  • Among all this loveliness was glimpsed by Arethusa a fleck of green.

    The Heart of Arethusa

    Francis Barton Fox

  • In the days that followed she thought of him as she saw him last, a minute fleck on the plain.

    The Eagle's Heart

    Hamlin Garland

  • He knocked out the pipe, crushed a fleck of burning tobacco with his boot.


    Clifford Donald Simak

British Dictionary definitions for fleck



a small marking or streak; speckle
a small particle; specka fleck of dust


Also: flecker (tr) to mark or cover with flecks; speckle

Word Origin for fleck

C16: probably from Old Norse flekkr stain, spot; related to Old High German flec spot, plot of land
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 fleck

late 14c., probably from Old Norse flekka "to spot," from Proto-Germanic *flekk- (cf. Middle Dutch vlecke, Old High German flec, German Fleck), from PIE *pleik- "to tear" (see flay). Related: Flecked; flecking.


1590s, from fleck (v.) or else from Middle Dutch vlecke or Old Norse flekkr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper