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mottled

[mot-ld] /ˈmɒt ld/
adjective
1.
spotted or blotched in coloring.
Origin
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mottled
  • They are mottled brown butterflies that dance in pools of sunlight in forest glades.
  • Her mottled palette alternates between warm and cool hues, matching the weather conditions depicted in the poem.
  • Less spectacular but perhaps more intriguing is the mottled backdrop at the top and bottom.
  • And all year long, the mottled trunks provide sculptural forms.
  • The chicks are pretty little balls of mottled brown and yellow down.
  • Bright green while growing, most gourds turn the color of straw when dried, with darker or mottled variations.
  • The skies here, watercolors mottled in varying shades of blue for an almost tie-dye effect, grow thick with promise.
  • The walls are a teal blue mottled wallpaper -- "a cheaper solution than paint when you have old walls," she says.
  • The zippy colors are slightly mottled, giving the subjects a rustic folk-art look.
  • Sock Monkey's nubby weave, which goes from mottled gray-brown to distinct brown and white, becomes the focal point of every page.
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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