adjective, spot·ti·er, spot·ti·est.

full of, having, or occurring in spots: spotty coloring.
irregular or uneven in quality or character: a spotty performance.

Nearby words

  1. spotted wilt,
  2. spotted wintergreen,
  3. spottedly,
  4. spotter,
  5. spottie,
  6. spousal,
  7. spousally,
  8. spouse,
  9. spout,
  10. spout cup

Origin of spotty

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at spot, -y1

Related formsspot·ti·ly, adverbspot·ti·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spotty

British Dictionary definitions for spotty


adjective -tier or -tiest

abounding in or characterized by spots or marks, esp on the skina spotty face
not consistent or uniform; irregular or uneven, often in quality
Derived Formsspottily, adverbspottiness, noun

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 spotty



mid-14c., "marked with spots," from spot (n.). Meaning "unsteady, uneven" is attested from 1932, from a more specific use with reference to painting (1812).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper