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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 of mottle
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mottling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The mottling of the basal and median areas on this side is reddish-brown.

    The Butterfly Book William Jacob Holland
  • The game was in plenty at the spring, and mottling the grassy plain.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • The broad petals have three purple lines at the base and a mottling of purple on either side.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
  • The mottling may, therefore, be considered as a crystallisation of the soap, in which the impurity forms the colour.

  • There stole a grey pallor over his bull face, mottling all the red of the tropics and the flush of the wine.

  • Very seldom a stream of fresh sunshine broke through the gray, mottling the pavements with uncertain lights.

  • Those of you who have the telescopes can see this mottling quite distinctly through them if you look at the sun.

  • The points were the mottling of the face, the shape and colour of the eyes, the position of the ears, and the length of the tail.

  • Of the latter, a large drove of different kinds and colours could be seen, mottling the plain to some distance from the waggons.

    The Wild Huntress Mayne Reid
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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