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mottled

[mot-ld] /ˈmɒt ld/
adjective
1.
spotted or blotched in coloring.
Origin of mottled
1670-1680
1670-80; mottle + -ed2
Related forms
unmottled, adjective

mottle

[mot-l] /ˈmɒt l/
verb (used with object), mottled, mottling.
1.
to mark or diversify with spots or blotches of a different color or shade.
noun
2.
a diversifying spot or blotch of color.
3.
mottled coloring or pattern.
Origin
1670-80; probably back formation from motley
Related forms
mottlement, noun
mottler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for mottled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The ambassador was leaning forward, glaring at him, his face a mottled crimson.

    The Yillian Way John Keith Laumer
  • Her round, soap-scoured little cheeks had turned a mottled red.

    Emmy Lou George Madden Martin
  • The general colour of the Nilotic Monitor is olive-grey, mottled with black.

    Bible Animals; J. G. Wood
  • A mottled thrush on the top of the linden-tree surveyed the scene curiously.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
  • An ewe of mottled fleece was there with her lamb, the size of which surprised him.

    Curiosities of Olden Times S. Baring-Gould
  • His face was a mottled gray, and his hands shook uncontrollably.

    Citadel Algirdas Jonas Budrys
  • The heartwood is deep chocolate-brown, mottled with red, the thin sapwood is lemon-yellow.

    American Forest Trees Henry H. Gibson
British Dictionary definitions for mottled

mottled

/ˈmɒtəld/
adjective
1.
coloured with streaks or blotches of different shades

mottle

/ˈmɒtəl/
verb
1.
(transitive) to colour with streaks or blotches of different shades
noun
2.
a mottled appearance, as of the surface of marble
3.
one streak or blotch of colour in a mottled surface
Word Origin
C17: back formation from motley
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 mottled
adj.

1670s, past participle adjective; see mottle (v.).

mottle

n.

1670s, probably a back-formation from motley.

v.

1670s; see mottle (n.). Related: Mottled; mottling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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