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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web The answer, of course, is Hollywood, which has a long and spotty history of remaking international films. Tyler Aquilina,, "Why an Another Round remake with Leonardo DiCaprio could be great: Opinion," 1 May 2021 The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission found spotty or nonexistent radio links between safety personnel in rail yard towers and shop workers and others on the ground, according to a report released Friday. Washington Post, "Communication gaps leave hazards for Metro workers, oversight commission says," 30 Apr. 2021 Plump sea critters alongside toothy ribbons of pasta beneath a spotty green blanket of nutty deliciousness. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Rome’s Flavours, a knead-to-know delight in Winter Park | Review," 29 Apr. 2021 The breaks also knocked out TV service to about 60 customers and cellular phone coverage was also spotty in the area, Telus said. David Williams, CNN, "Beavers chewed through a cable and knocked out internet service to hundreds in a Canadian town," 27 Apr. 2021 Snow levels remain near the Cascade passes Monday, but shower activity should be spotty enough that most areas only get an inch of sticking snow. oregonlive, "Portland metro Monday weather: Scattered showers, mostly cloudy; high 61," 26 Apr. 2021 Information has been spotty about why refund money has been delayed in many cases. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Many taxpayers feel like 'return has fallen into a black hole'," 23 Apr. 2021 Bass fishing remains spotty with murky water and high current flow, but some big fish are being caught by those who locate bedding fish. Frank Sargeant, al, "Friday Alabama fishing report," 23 Apr. 2021 Fossils offer scientists a huge amount of information, but the fossil record is spotty by nature, and doesn’t make sense to rely on as something to fully inform us about everyday activities and whole populations of animals. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "In ‘Moon Landing of Genomics,’ Scientists Sequence Ancient DNA From Dirt," 20 Apr. 2021

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spotty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for spotty



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on spotty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spotty

Nglish: Translation of spotty for Spanish Speakers

Comments on spotty

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