[ stip-uhl ]
See synonyms for stipple on
verb (used with object),stip·pled, stip·pling.
  1. to paint, engrave, or draw by means of dots or small touches.

nounAlso stippling.
  1. the method of painting, engraving, etc., by stippling.

  2. stippled work; a painting, engraving, or the like, executed by means of dots or small spots.

Origin of stipple

1660–70; <Dutch stippelen, frequentative of stippen to dot, derivative of stip dot

Other words from stipple

  • stippler, noun
  • un·stip·pled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stipple in a sentence

  • The grayish stippling on the posterior ventral surfaces mentioned by Conant (1953:9) is not visible on these specimens.

  • The finishing touch to their delicate beauty is the fine stippling all over the surface.

    The Life of the Fly | J. Henri Fabre
  • The wood is sometimes represented in oil without first stippling, but it never looks so well.

    Practical Graining | William E. (William Edmund) Wall
  • Care must be taken not to add much water to the stippling color, or the stippling will be wiped off when the rag is used over it.

    Practical Graining | William E. (William Edmund) Wall
  • Oil color is sometimes used to pencil in the hearts, as it will not lift the stippling, no matter how much it is blended.

    Practical Graining | William E. (William Edmund) Wall

British Dictionary definitions for stipple


/ (ˈstɪpəl) /

  1. to draw, engrave, or paint using dots or flecks

  2. to apply paint, powder, etc, to (something) with many light dabs

  1. to give (wet paint, cement, etc) a granular effect

nounAlso: stippling
  1. the technique of stippling or a picture produced by or using stippling

Origin of stipple

C18: from Dutch stippelen, from stippen to prick, from stip point

Derived forms of stipple

  • stippler, 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