[spek-uh l]


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.

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

Historical Examples of speckle

  • No one else could detect a spot or speckle on her at a casual glance.

    On the Track

    Henry Lawson

  • Mrs. Speckle (that was his mother) was just as proud of him as she could be; but foolish Brownie thought her too strict.

  • To be sure, Mrs. Speckle did not keep a looking-glass, and I suppose poor Brownie had no idea how very absurd he looked.

  • One day Speckle, the big hen, made a great fuss because her brood of ducklings went into the water.

  • Out of the yard bounded Rover barking heartily and, from her stall, Speckle mooed a welcome.

    Little Tom

    V. Tille

British Dictionary definitions for speckle



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