a small spot differing in color or substance from that of the surface or material upon which it appears or lies: Specks of soot on the window sill.
a very little bit or particle: We haven't a speck of sugar.
something appearing small by comparison or by reason of distance: By then the town was just a speck.

verb (used with object)

to mark with, or as with, a speck or specks.

Origin of speck

before 900; Middle English specke, Old English specca; cognate with Dutch spikkel
Related formsspeck·ed·ness [spek-id-nis] /ˈspɛk ɪd nɪs/, nounspeck·less, adjectivespeck·less·ly, adverbspeck·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for speck

Contemporary Examples of speck

Historical Examples of speck

  • Some things he lacked: he hadn't no immagination at all, not one speck.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 6.

    Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)

  • But there was not a speck of dust anywhere, as Mrs. Brady noticed.

  • I feel as a cat who would lick all day to take the least speck from her fur.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • And then she would still keep the house clean, not even a speck of dust.


    Emile Zola

  • She cast a hasty glance at his feet, and saw that there was not a speck of dust on his boots.

British Dictionary definitions for speck



a very small mark or spot
a small or tiny piece of something


(tr) to mark with specks or spots

Word Origin for speck

Old English specca; related to Middle Dutch spekelen to sprinkle
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 speck

Old English specca "small spot, stain," of unknown origin; probably related to Dutch speckel "speck, speckle," Middle Dutch spekelen "to sprinkle." Meaning "tiny bit" developed c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper