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[flek] /flɛk/
a speck; a small bit:
a fleck of dirt.
a spot or small patch of color, light, etc.:
the dapple mare with flecks of gray.
a spot or mark on the skin, as a freckle.
verb (used with object)
to mark with a fleck or flecks; spot; dapple.
Origin of fleck
1350-1400; Middle English flekked spotted; akin to Old Norse flekkr spot, streak, Old High German flec (German Fleck), Middle Low German, Middle Dutch vlecken to soil
Related forms
fleckless, adjective
flecklessly, adverb
flecky, adjective
unflecked, adjective
Can be confused
flecks, flex.
4. bespeckle, spatter, dot, speck, daub. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for flecking
Historical Examples
  • And ever the people tossed their bonnets in the air, flecking the red sunrise with them.

    The Men of the Moss-Hags S. R. Crockett
  • The cheese balls may be varied by flecking them with black, white, or red pepper.

    The Century Cook Book Mary Ronald
  • He absently took the whip from its socket, flecking the horse with it as he spoke.

    The Flying Mercury Eleanor M. Ingram
  • Here and there, flecking with colour the sunlit scene, flutter the Stars and Stripes.

  • The flecking sunlight fell on their towsled hair and their flushed faces.

    Rose of Dutcher's Coolly Hamlin Garland
  • The whole air was filled with it up to the very sky where the first exquisite sunset clouds were flecking the blue.

    The Quest Frederik van Eeden
  • Red suns and tufts of fire one by one began to arise, flecking the whole country round.

    Return of the Native Thomas Hardy
  • flecking the dust from the soap box with his handkerchief, he dragged it forward and placed it near the workbench.

    Flood Tide Sara Ware Bassett
  • Over this the sunbeams poured in, flecking the green with gold.

    Three Margarets Laura E. Richards
  • Only just round the corner are the shady trees, and the birds singing on the branches, and the sunshine is flecking the pathway.

British Dictionary definitions for flecking


a small marking or streak; speckle
a small particle; speck: a fleck of dust
(transitive) Also flecker. to mark or cover with flecks; speckle
Word Origin
C16: probably from Old Norse flekkr stain, spot; related to Old High German flec spot, plot of land
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 flecking



late 14c., probably from Old Norse flekka "to spot," from Proto-Germanic *flekk- (cf. Middle Dutch vlecke, Old High German flec, German Fleck), from PIE *pleik- "to tear" (see flay). Related: Flecked; flecking.


1590s, from fleck (v.) or else from Middle Dutch vlecke or Old Norse flekkr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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