Check out new words added to


[spek] /spɛk/
a small spot differing in color or substance from that of the surface or material upon which it appears or lies:
Specks of soot on the window sill.
a very little bit or particle:
We haven't a speck of sugar.
something appearing small by comparison or by reason of distance:
By then the town was just a speck.
verb (used with object)
to mark with, or as with, a speck or specks.
Origin of speck
before 900; Middle English specke, Old English specca; cognate with Dutch spikkel
Related forms
[spek-id-nis] /ˈspɛk ɪd nɪs/ (Show IPA),
speckless, adjective
specklessly, adverb
specklessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for speck
  • Each cell could contain a tiny speck of fissionable material, or the cells could cluster in a colony around a source.
  • The planet would appear as a tiny speck, with neither blue ocean nor swirling, white cloud visible.
  • Sometimes they'd see a tiny speck in the sky, sometimes two or more together, making a distant buzz.
  • Fish has been cast by the news media as a self-satisfied showman, but not a speck of pretense crops up during our conversation.
  • We could see the brown speck against the darker background for many yards.
  • In a minute, the dog has become a dark speck on the ice behind us.
  • Though its wings are clipped, it flees surprisingly fast, a dark speck in the twilight.
  • The first sign of the threat was no more than a speck on a star-streaked telescope image.
  • Cave pearls are formed when a drop of water from the ceiling hits the limestone floor and throws up a speck of rock.
  • Collisions with even a small speck can damage working satellites or harm spacewalkers.
British Dictionary definitions for speck


a very small mark or spot
a small or tiny piece of something
(transitive) to mark with specks or spots
Word Origin
Old English specca; related to Middle Dutch spekelen to sprinkle
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for speck

Old English specca "small spot, stain," of unknown origin; probably related to Dutch speckel "speck, speckle," Middle Dutch spekelen "to sprinkle." Meaning "tiny bit" developed c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for speck

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for speck

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with speck