mot·​tled ˈmä-tᵊld How to pronounce mottled (audio)
: marked with spots of different colors : having blotches of two or more colors
mottled tree bark
a mottled complexion
the bird's mottled plumage
A combination of red and blue pigments in the shell of a live lobster creates a mottled camouflage of indeterminate hue that blends in with the ocean floor.Kenneth Chang

Examples of mottled in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Workers shuffle through that mottled brown carpet with bare feet — like kicking sand on the beach — to expose the harvest to some sun. Mumbi Gitau, Fortune Europe, 27 Feb. 2024 Soon another ball-python type, the piebald, or pied, which features mottled brown spots on an ivory body and is considered scarce in the wild, became popular: in 1997, a pied ball python could sell for thirty thousand dollars. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 June bugs Large beetles with stout bodies and mottled coloring, often called May, June or Chafer beetles. The Arizona Republic, 14 Feb. 2024 Pruning Don’t prune the plant after the bloom; instead, let the mottled, deep-green foliage die back on its own in midsummer. Nadia Hassani, Better Homes & Gardens, 31 Jan. 2024 The velvety interior contrasts with the mottled sheepskin exterior. The Editors, Los Angeles Times, 6 Nov. 2023 Sandra, too, is committed to the truth, the mottled kind that artists know. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 15 Oct. 2023 Subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern or white stone with a mottled texture add visual interest to your kitchen without breaking away from a sophisticated white kitchen cabinet scheme. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Oct. 2023 They’re seated behind a tabletop, a brushy plane of pale and mottled yellow that takes up almost half the picture. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mottled.' 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

1676, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mottled was in 1676

Dictionary Entries Near mottled

Cite this Entry

“Mottled.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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