spot·​ty | \ ˈspä-tē How to pronounce spotty (audio) \
spottier; spottiest

Definition of spotty

1 : marked with spots : spotted
2 : lacking uniformity especially in quality the performance was spotty also : irregularly or sparsely distributed spotty attendance spotty data

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Other Words from spotty

spottily \ ˈspä-​tə-​lē How to pronounce spottily (audio) \ adverb
spottiness \ ˈspä-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce spottiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of spotty in a Sentence

Her work has been spotty. The service at that restaurant is a little spotty. students with spotty attendance records
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Recent Examples on the Web Because of the pandemic, visitations were prohibited at Cedar Court and Harrison, forcing them to rely on spotty phone and video calls. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "'She was always just sweet': Beloved former art teacher dies of COVID-19," 29 May 2020 But the response of the Russian federal government has clearly been spotty and piecemeal, with individual regions, hospitals, and doctors left to figure out how to deal with the pandemic on their own. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "How the Coronavirus Revealed the Hollowness of Putin’s “Vertical of Power”," 26 May 2020 But outside of major cities, public transportation is, at best, spotty. Jason M. Vaughn, Car and Driver, "A 260,000-Mile Subaru Fueled by Hope: The Fear of Failure," 23 May 2020 Tigers 9, Giants 6 S.F. starter Kevin Gausman (2-3) had a rare spotty outing in an Oracle Park matinee, allowing five hits and five walks in 4 ⅓ innings. Sporting Green Staff,, "May 20 Strat-O-Matic results: Giants and A’s both lose at home," 20 May 2020 Many of the members of the commission, however, had spotty attendance at the commission's hearings, with Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the two members who appear to most consistently be present at the meetings. Fox News, "Michigan Senate candidates take tough stances on China amid coronavirus," 14 May 2020 As great of a passer Haskins was in 2018, the Buckeyes needed all 50 TD throws to make up for the points their defense gave up every week and a spotty run game. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Justin Fields leads nation in passing TDs vs. leads Big Ten in rushing TDs: What’s more likely for Ohio State football," 7 May 2020 Counterintuitively, some countries where authorities reacted late and with spotty enforcement of lockdowns appear to have been spared., "Coronavirus still not showing its hand," 4 May 2020 Families who have loved ones at these facilities have said that while some administrators provide prompt and regular communications, other places give delayed or spotty reports. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "Ducey to require greater reporting on COVID-19 cases to nursing home residents, their guardians," 4 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spotty.' 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 spotty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spotty

Time Traveler

The first known use of spotty was in the 14th century

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Statistics for spotty

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spotty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for spotty


How to pronounce spotty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spotty

chiefly US : not always good : good in some parts or at some times but not others
: marked with spots


spot·​ty | \ ˈspä-tē How to pronounce spotty (audio) \
spottier; spottiest

Kids Definition of spotty

1 : having spots
2 : not always the same especially in quality Your work has been spotty.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spotty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spotty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spotty

Spanish Central: Translation of spotty

Nglish: Translation of spotty for Spanish Speakers

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