mottle

[mot-l]
verb (used with object), mot·tled, mot·tling.
  1. to mark or diversify with spots or blotches of a different color or shade.
noun
  1. a diversifying spot or blotch of color.
  2. mottled coloring or pattern.

Origin of mottle

First recorded in 1670–80; probably back formation from motley
Related formsmot·tle·ment, nounmot·tler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for mottling

Contemporary Examples of mottling

Historical Examples of mottling

  • No polishing of sandstone will reveal the mottling of marble.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • The game was in plenty at the spring, and mottling the grassy plain.

  • The mottling of the basal and median areas on this side is reddish-brown.

    The Butterfly Book

    William Jacob Holland

  • Every vein and crack and mottling of that face of rock remained forever stamped upon his memory.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The mottling may, therefore, be considered as a crystallisation of the soap, in which the impurity forms the colour.


British Dictionary definitions for mottling

mottle

verb
  1. (tr) to colour with streaks or blotches of different shades
noun
  1. a mottled appearance, as of the surface of marble
  2. one streak or blotch of colour in a mottled surface

Word Origin for mottle

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 mottling

mottle

n.

1670s, probably a back-formation from motley.

mottle

v.

1670s; see mottle (n.). Related: Mottled; mottling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper