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adjective, spot·ti·er, spot·ti·est.
  1. full of, having, or occurring in spots: spotty coloring.
  2. irregular or uneven in quality or character: a spotty performance.
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Origin of spotty

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at spot, -y1
Related formsspot·ti·ly, adverbspot·ti·ness, noun

Synonyms for spotty

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for spotty

patchy, uneven, erratic, sporadic, desultory, flickering, spasmodic, unequal, fluctuating, pimply

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Contemporary Examples of spotty

Historical Examples of spotty

British Dictionary definitions for spotty


adjective -tier or -tiest
  1. abounding in or characterized by spots or marks, esp on the skina spotty face
  2. not consistent or uniform; irregular or uneven, often in quality
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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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper