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See more synonyms for speck on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
  2. a very little bit or particle: We haven't a speck of sugar.
  3. something appearing small by comparison or by reason of distance: By then the town was just a speck.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to mark with, or as with, a speck or specks.
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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. 2018

Related Words for speck

blot, particle, shred, fleck, splotch, stain, mite, iota, dot, flaw, blemish, jot, mote, speckle, point, spot, molecule, defect, mark, modicum

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


  1. a very small mark or spot
  2. a small or tiny piece of something
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  1. (tr) to mark with specks or spots
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper