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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
1670-1680
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 mottling
  • If the biblical references are to a literal skin-mottling disease, some commentators find smallpox a more likely candidate.
  • The mottling on this sea star is fairly distinctive.
  • Exposure to this powerful caustic irritant can cause conjunctivitis, skin irritation, bone degeneration and mottling of teeth.
  • Depth to mottling tends to underestimate the maximum height of the water table.
  • The dorsum is generally dark brown with dark markings, and the venter is dark with white mottling.
  • The ventral surface is opaque cream-colored or yellow with coppery pigmentation and dark green mottling on the throat.
  • Immature birds are more difficult to identify but are mostly brown with white mottling.
  • The stem of cow parsnip lacks purple mottling and its surface is downy or fuzzy.
  • Ventral surface is white to yellow in coloration and generally is covered in dark mottling.
  • Green, brown, or pinkish with highly variable brown and white mottling.
British Dictionary definitions for mottling

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 mottling

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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