Motley

[mot-lee]

noun

John Lo·throp [loh-thruh p] /ˈloʊ θrəp/, 1814–77, U.S. historian and diplomat.

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British Dictionary definitions for john motley

motley

adjective

made up of elements of varying type, quality, etc
multicoloured

noun

a motley collection or mixture
the particoloured attire of a jester
obsolete a jester

Word Origin for motley

C14: perhaps from mot speck, mote 1
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 john motley

motley

adj.

late 14c., "parti-colored" (originally of fabric), from Anglo-French motteley, probably from Old English mot "speck" (see mote). But Klein's sources say probably from Gaulish. "Diversified in color," especially of a fool's dress. Hence, allusively, "a fool" (1600). As a noun meaning "cloth of mixed color" from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper