[frek-uh l]


one of the small, brownish spots on the skin that are caused by deposition of pigment and that increase in number and darken on exposure to sunlight; lentigo.
any small spot or discoloration: freckles of paint spattered on the floor.

verb (used with object), freck·led, freck·ling.

to cover with freckles; produce freckles on.

verb (used without object), freck·led, freck·ling.

to become freckled.

Origin of freckle

1350–1400; blend of obsolete frecken freckle (Middle English frekne < Old Norse *frekna; compare freknōttr speckled, Norwegian, Icelandic frekna, Swedish fräkna freckle) and speckle (noun)
Related formsun·freck·led, adjectivewell-freck·led, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for freckle

Historical Examples of freckle

  • What is it when one kisses his mistress' freckle neck, another the wart on her nose?

    The Praise of Folly

    Desiderius Erasmus

  • He had what no other Blake had had, a suspicion of freckle on his high, flat cheek.

  • And for every wish inside him he had a freckle outside on his face.

    Rootabaga Stories

    Carl Sandburg

  • But she took the bottle of freckle lotion and emptied it out of the window.

    Anne Of Avonlea

    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  • I do not freckle, but if I did, I think I should prefer freckles.

British Dictionary definitions for freckle



a small brownish spot on the skin: a localized deposit of the pigment melanin, developed by exposure to sunlightTechnical name: lentigo
any small area of discoloration; a spot
Australian slang the anus


to mark or become marked with freckles or spots
Derived Formsfreckled or freckly, adjective

Word Origin for freckle

C14: from Old Norse freknur freckles; related to Swedish fräkne, Danish fregne
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 freckle

late 14c., also frecken, probably from Old Norse freknur (plural) "freckles" (cf. Icelandic frekna, Danish fregne, Swedish frägne "freckle"), from PIE *(s)preg- "to jerk, scatter" (see sprout (v.)). Related: Freckles.


late 14c. (implied in fracled "spotted," from freckle (n.); freckle as a verb is recorded from 1610s. Related: Freckled; freckling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for freckle




A small brownish spot on the skin, often turning darker or increasing in number upon exposure to the sun.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.