1

piebald

adjective pie·bald \ ˈpī-ˌbȯld \
Updated on: 17 May 2018

Definition of piebald

1 : composed of incongruous parts
2 : of different colors; especially : spotted or blotched with black and white

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Examples of piebald in a Sentence

  1. a model who owes his striking good looks to his markedly piebald ethnic background

  2. a piebald horse that looked like it had been splashed with black and white paint

The Feathered History of piebald

To many people, the noisy black and white birds that go by the scientific name Pica pica—better known as magpies—are nothing but pests. But the Latin root that was adopted for their name isn't a linguistic nuisance; it played an important role in the development of piebald. The pie of piebald (pie is another name for a magpie) derives from pica, which is Latin for "magpie." The other part of piebald comes from the word bald, which can mean "marked with white"; it can also be found in skewbald, an adjective used to describe animals marked with patches of white and any other color but black.

First Known Use of piebald

1590

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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2

piebald

noun

Definition of piebald

: a piebald animal (such as a horse)

Recent Examples of piebald from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'piebald.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of piebald

1722

in the meaning defined above

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PIEBALD Defined for English Language Learners

piebald

Definition of piebald for English Language Learners

  • : spotted with two different colors (especially black and white)


PIEBALD Defined for Kids

piebald

adjective pie·bald \ ˈpī-ˌbȯld \

Definition of piebald for Students

: spotted with two colors and especially black and white
  • a piebald horse


Seen and Heard

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