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

Other Words from spotty

spottily \ ˈspä-​tə-​lē How to pronounce spotty (audio) \ adverb
spottiness \ ˈspä-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce spotty (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
Recent Examples on the Web But even today, price records can be hard to find and unpack on hospital websites, and compliance with the rules has been spotty, according to Turquoise Health. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 May 2022 Cellphone reception in Henderson can be spotty on a good day. Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune, 6 May 2022 The Tuskegee Syphilis Study has since become a vital case study in bioethics, but public awareness of its existence is spotty at best. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 May 2022 Locally, some popular clubs like the Troubadour and the Echo still require vaccination and masks in certain settings to attend shows (though enforcement of the latter is spotty at best). Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 Insurance coverage is spotty, and Medicare does not pay for it. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, 26 Apr. 2022 Although Fischer’s book doesn’t provide statistics consistently across time or across the three cities—to be fair, crime statistics are spotty—the numbers that do appear are telling. Sarah A. Seo, The Atlantic, 22 Apr. 2022 There is no heat or running water and the electricity is spotty at best. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2022 Polling has been spotty, but some internal polls show Dolan in the mix with the other candidates. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 17 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of spotty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spotty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spotty


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on spotty

Nglish: Translation of spotty for Spanish Speakers


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