[ spek-uh l ]
/ ˈspɛk əl /


a small speck, spot, or mark, as on skin.
speckled coloring or marking.

verb (used with object), speck·led, speck·ling.

to mark with or as with speckles.

Nearby words

  1. specious,
  2. specious present,
  3. speciously,
  4. speck,
  5. speckedness,
  6. speckle interferometry,
  7. speckle pattern,
  8. speckled,
  9. speckled trout,
  10. speckled wood

Origin of speckle

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at speck, -le

Related formsspeck·led·ness, nounun·speck·led, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for speckle

British Dictionary definitions for speckle


/ (ˈspɛkəl) /


a small or slight mark usually of a contrasting colour, as on the skin, a bird's plumage, or eggs


(tr) to mark with or as if with speckles
Derived Formsspeckled, adjective

Word Origin for speckle

C15: from Middle Dutch spekkel; see speck

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 speckle



c.1400 (implied in speckled), probably related to Old English specca "small spot, speck" (see speck) or from a related Middle Dutch or Middle High German word. Related: Speckled; speckling. The noun is first attested mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper