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[frek-uh l] /ˈfrɛk əl/
one of the small, brownish spots on the skin that are caused by deposition of pigment and that increase in number and darken on exposure to sunlight; lentigo.
any small spot or discoloration:
freckles of paint spattered on the floor.
verb (used with object), freckled, freckling.
to cover with freckles; produce freckles on.
verb (used without object), freckled, freckling.
to become freckled.
Origin of freckle
1350-1400; blend of obsolete frecken freckle (Middle English frekne < Old Norse *frekna; compare freknōttr speckled, Norwegian, Icelandic frekna, Swedish fräkna freckle) and speckle (noun)
Related forms
unfreckled, adjective
well-freckled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for freckle
Historical Examples
  • If asked to turn the jumping-rope Her pretty parasol she'd ope, Lest she should freckle in the sun: And that was her idea of fun!

    Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1 Edward William Cole
  • What is it when one kisses his mistress' freckle neck, another the wart on her nose?

    The Praise of Folly Desiderius Erasmus
  • Nancys examining her freckle in the mirror was also a favorite position.

  • But she took the bottle of freckle lotion and emptied it out of the window.

    Anne Of Avonlea Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • And for every wish inside him he had a freckle outside on his face.

    Rootabaga Stories Carl Sandburg
  • And your hands are so soft, there isn't a freckle in your face.

    Helen Grant's Schooldays Amanda M. Douglas
  • He had what no other Blake had had, a suspicion of freckle on his high, flat cheek.

  • While freckle thought of these, it was suggested to him that he was a very wicked man.

    Bohemian Days Geo. Alfred Townsend
  • A freckle is the same to a druggist as a pipe line is to Rockefeller—ready money and a lot of it.

  • The paleness of it was a healthy paleness, with just an inclination to freckle.

    There and Back George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for freckle


a small brownish spot on the skin: a localized deposit of the pigment melanin, developed by exposure to sunlight Technical name lentigo
any small area of discoloration; a spot
(Austral, slang) the anus
to mark or become marked with freckles or spots
Derived Forms
freckled, freckly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse freknur freckles; related to Swedish fräkne, Danish fregne
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 freckle

late 14c., also frecken, probably from Old Norse freknur (plural) "freckles" (cf. Icelandic frekna, Danish fregne, Swedish frägne "freckle"), from PIE *(s)preg- "to jerk, scatter" (see sprout (v.)). Related: Freckles.


late 14c. (implied in fracled "spotted," from freckle (n.); freckle as a verb is recorded from 1610s. Related: Freckled; freckling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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freckle in Medicine

freckle freck·le (frěk'əl)
A small brownish spot on the skin, often turning darker or increasing in number upon exposure to the sun.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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