speck·​le | \ ˈspe-kəl How to pronounce speckle (audio) \

Definition of speckle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a little speck (as of color)


speckled; speckling\ ˈspe-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce speckling (audio) \

Definition of speckle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to mark with speckles
2 : to be distributed in or on like speckles

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Examples of speckle in a Sentence

Noun a ripe banana with lots of brown speckles the cat has a speckle of orange right at her whiskers Verb speckled the cookies with colored sugar
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Durat Available in over 300 colors including speckle options, Durat is a solid material that contains recycled post-industrial plastics. Sally Kuchar, Sunset Magazine, "Hardy and Sustainable Kitchen Countertops That Are Surprisingly Stylish," 3 Feb. 2020 One records the white speckle of aphid eggs on a patch of leaves. Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times, "In Patty Wickman’s mesmerizing paintings, scenes ripe with meaning," 1 Oct. 2019 Mites, of course, will be quite small and are often hard to see with the naked eye, but speckles left from their feeding can give the plant a bronzed or yellow look. oregonlive, "The key to healthy houseplants? Location, location, location," 11 Nov. 2019 Grown in small quantities in the Pacific Northwest, Forelle tells you it’s ripe when the skin under its red speckles turns from green to yellow. Robin Mather, chicagotribune.com, "What pears to pick for your fall recipes — starting with a pear tart and pear butter," 23 Oct. 2019 According to Shape, Lopez owns these Beyond Yoga leggings in three different shades, including black gunmetal, sandstone gold speckle, and blush rose gold. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "Jennifer Lopez’s Favorite Beyond Yoga Leggings Are on Sale at Bandier Right Now," 16 Oct. 2019 While gray speckles in his beard betray his youthful countenance, Thompson’s face has largely remained the same. Elahe Izadi, Washington Post, "The quiet brilliance of Kenan Thompson," 28 Aug. 2019 Previous research has shown that the colors and speckles on dinosaur eggshells may vary depending on the dinosaur's nesting behavior, such as whether the species buries its eggs or broods them. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "In a first, fossil bird found with unlaid egg," 20 Mar. 2019 After billions of years, however, that dazzling surface is now rife with dark tracks, speckles, and splotches. National Geographic, "Why does Earth have a moon, and how does it affect our planet?," 3 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On clear days, especially after monsoon season, when the city’s rooftops are dotted with people, kites speckle the sky, their threads forming an invisible cat’s cradle overhead. Oliver Whang, New York Times, "Meet the Bird Medics of New Delhi," 10 Feb. 2020 To overcome that problem, Roberts and colleagues had turned to scores of ancient wasp nests speckled across the rock faces. Elizabeth Finkel, Science | AAAS, "Mysterious Australian rock art may depict the chaos following rising seas," 5 Feb. 2020 On the savory side is a cheesy Dutch baby speckled with bacon. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Four breakfasts worth celebrating," 27 Dec. 2019 An observer spotted peculiar black marks speckling the landscape. The Economist, "Death in the Alps," 20 Dec. 2019 In my Spiced Cranberry Cake With Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting, the fruit speckled throughout looks like ruby-red comets leaving a trail of juices in their path. Nik Sharma, SFChronicle.com, "Brown Kitchen: Spiced Cranberry Cake With Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting," 13 Dec. 2019 The idea caught on, and by the 1840s, some 400 public urinals speckled the street, reports Andrew Ayers for Pin-Up magazine. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Paris’ Open-Air Urinals Changed a City—and Helped Dismantle the Nazi Regime," 7 Dec. 2019 So there were our beds, speckled with currant-size turds and tufts of bloated, discolored insulation. David Sedaris, The New Yorker, "Hurricane Season," 25 Nov. 2019 The finer pieces, speckled throughout the batter, melt into the bread, while the bigger chips retain their shape to provide texture and an addictive chocolatey bite. Dayana Sarkisova, The Denver Post, "An unabashedly chocolatey pumpkin bread is your next baking project," 4 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of speckle


15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for speckle


Middle English; akin to Old English specca

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Time Traveler for speckle

Time Traveler

The first known use of speckle was in the 15th century

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Statistics for speckle

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Speckle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/speckled. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for speckle


How to pronounce speckle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of speckle

: a small mark of color


speck·​le | \ ˈspe-kəl How to pronounce speckle (audio) \

Kids Definition of speckle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small mark (as of color)


speckled; speckling

Kids Definition of speckle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to mark or be marked with small spots

More from Merriam-Webster on speckle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for speckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with speckle

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