dap·​pled ˈda-pəld How to pronounce dappled (audio)
variants or less commonly dapple
: marked with small spots or patches contrasting with the background
a dappled fawn

Examples of dappled in a Sentence

a forest that was vibrant with the dappled foliage of autumn
Recent Examples on the Web Bush Anemone Care Tips Light Bush anemones grow well in full sun, although dappled shade is acceptable in most areas and preferable in the hottest climates. Viveka Neveln, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 May 2024 To have my hair appear to have been kissed by dappled sunlight is a mood booster extraordinaire. Sherry Kuehl, Kansas City Star, 18 Apr. 2024 In a dappled forest, vines twine up trees, reaching ever upward and away from the dark. Quanta Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 In hot climates, choose a location where the plant will get dappled sunlight or partial shade. Patricia S York, Southern Living, 18 Mar. 2024 Kenneth Posner’s dappled lighting suggests a heightened air of tension, casting a penumbra underfoot even in midafternoon. Naveen Kumar, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2024 The team integrated dappled light by softening the open steel frame trellis with plantings of Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis) and Honeysuckle (lonicera semperviren). Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 22 Feb. 2024 Light Hellebores thrive in partial shade (with four or fewer hours of direct sunlight per day) or in light, dappled sun all day. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 8 Feb. 2024 Most columbine does well in part sun or dappled sunlight, but the plants can tolerate full sun in moister soil. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 14 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dappled.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dappled was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near dappled

Cite this Entry

“Dappled.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dappled. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also dapple
: marked with numerous usually cloudy and rounded spots or patches of a color or shade different from their background
a dappled fawn
rested in the dappled shade

More from Merriam-Webster on dappled

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