mottle

1 of 2

noun

mot·​tle ˈmä-tᵊl How to pronounce mottle (audio)
1
: a colored spot
2
a
: a surface having colored spots or blotches
b
: the arrangement of such spots or blotches on a surface
3

mottle

2 of 2

verb

mottled; mottling ˈmät-liŋ How to pronounce mottle (audio)
ˈmä-tᵊl-iŋ

transitive verb

: to mark with spots or blotches of different color or shades of color as if stained
mottler
ˈmät-lər How to pronounce mottle (audio)
ˈmä-tᵊl-ər
noun

Examples of mottle in a Sentence

Noun canvases covered with streaks and mottles Verb old papers that were mottled by mold
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Remember to continue your daily sunscreen use to stave off more mottle. Katie Becker, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 Oct. 2015
Verb
The attraction starts with the bread, a square of focaccia mottled with voluptuous, deep brown bubbles. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 Glossy and gorgeously mottled, these seafoam green scallops look like shiny ceramic tiles grouted in gleaming white—but they’re actually peel and stick squares made of durable, flexible PVC. Sarah Halverson, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Jan. 2024 Each piece is primarily one hue, yet mottled with others. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2023 Ellington’s gleaming portrait of a living, breathing city too often felt mottled into watercolors, and although Edusei worked hard to emulsify a consistent vibe, his results were distractingly mixed — here too slick, there too slack. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 All night long, the streets teemed with desperate, fleeing people, their faces mottled with soot and sweat or scorched by flame. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023 The aged brick is gorgeously mottled, flaunting its scars and expressing experience as eloquently as a human face. Curbed, 27 Sep. 2023 From their origins making mottled, metallic drone music, Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie grew into electro-acoustic composers of almost liturgical intensity. Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork, 28 Aug. 2023 The track of a push broom on the floor has shaped a tiny dune of shattered glass mottled with flakes of lead paint and bird droppings. Stuart Dybek, The New Yorker, 24 Aug. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

probably back-formation from motley

First Known Use

Noun

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1602, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mottle was in 1602

Dictionary Entries Near mottle

Cite this Entry

“Mottle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mottle. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

mottle

1 of 2 noun
mot·​tle ˈmät-ᵊl How to pronounce mottle (audio)
1
: a colored spot
2
: a pattern of colored spots or blotches
mottled adjective

mottle

2 of 2 verb
mottled; mottling ˈmät-liŋ How to pronounce mottle (audio)
-ᵊl-iŋ
: to mark with spots or blotches of different color or shades of color as if stained

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