- spotted or blotched in coloring.
Origin of mottled
- to mark or diversify with spots or blotches of a different color or shade.
- a diversifying spot or blotch of color.
- mottled coloring or pattern.
Origin of mottle
First recorded in 1670–80; probably back formation from motley
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mottled
The rich, mottled tones with which he crafted his portraits are less about creating mood than about rendering pure physicality.Remembering Irving Penn
October 8, 2009
To many of those white-haired and mottled men, the ambassador's six-minute apology and the invitation to visit Japan were insults.Healing the Wounds of Bataan
September 19, 2009
The skin on my face and arms took on a mottled, yellowish appearance, like an old newspaper left out in the sun.Was I Born Anorexic?
April 16, 2009
My first vision over the parapet revealed but a mottled grey.City of Endless Night
He looked kind of mottled and anguished, but I guess he'll pull around all right.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
His hair was yellowish, mottled with patches of grayish green.Louisiana Lou
William West Winter
This genus is so called from the mottled appearance of the gills.
The mottled appearance of the gills is due to the falling of the black spores.
- coloured with streaks or blotches of different shades
- (tr) to colour with streaks or blotches of different shades
- a mottled appearance, as of the surface of marble
- one streak or blotch of colour in a mottled surface
C17: back formation from motley
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 mottled
1670s, past participle adjective; see mottle (v.).
1670s, probably a back-formation from motley.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper