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dapple

[dap-uh l] /ˈdæp əl/
noun
1.
a spot or mottled marking, usually occurring in clusters.
2.
an animal with a mottled skin or coat.
adjective
3.
dappled; spotted:
a dapple horse.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), dappled, dappling.
4.
to mark or become marked with spots.
Origin
1545-1555
1545-55; probably back formation from dappled
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dappling

dapple

/ˈdæpəl/
verb
1.
to mark or become marked with spots or patches of a different colour; mottle
noun
2.
mottled or spotted markings
3.
a dappled horse, etc
adjective
4.
marked with dapples or spots
Word Origin
C14: of unknown origin
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
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Word Origin and History for dappling

dapple

v.

early 15c. (implied in past participle adjective dappled), perhaps from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse depill "spot," Norwegian dape "puddle." Perhaps a back-formation from, or merger with, Middle English adjective dapple-gray "apple-gray" (late 14c.), based on resemblance to the markings on an apple (cf. Old Norse apalgrar "dapple-gray"), or, as it was used of gray horses with round blotches, perhaps via resemblance to apples themselves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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