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motley

[ mot-lee ]
/ ˈmɒt li /
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adjective
noun, plural mot·leys.
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Origin of motley

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English motele, motlay, mottelay “mixture of colors, variegated; a parti-colored garment”; of uncertain origin; perhaps akin to mote1.See -ly

Other definitions for motley (2 of 2)

Motley
[ mot-lee ]
/ ˈmɒt li /

noun
John Lo·throp [loh-thruhp], /ˈloʊ θrəp/, 1814–77, U.S. historian and diplomat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use motley in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for motley

motley
/ (ˈmɒtlɪ) /

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
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