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 flecking

Historical Examples of flecking

  • He absently took the whip from its socket, flecking the horse with it as he spoke.

    The Flying Mercury

    Eleanor M. Ingram

  • Over this the sunbeams poured in, flecking the green with gold.

    Three Margarets

    Laura E. Richards

  • And ever the people tossed their bonnets in the air, flecking the red sunrise with them.

  • The cheese balls may be varied by flecking them with black, white, or red pepper.

  • He continued to play with his egg, flecking off the broken bits of shell with the point of his spoon.

    Caleb West, Master Diver

    F. Hopkinson Smith

British Dictionary definitions for flecking



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 flecking



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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper