stip·​ple | \ ˈsti-pəl How to pronounce stipple (audio) \
stippled; stippling\ ˈsti-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce stipple (audio) \

Definition of stipple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to engrave by means of dots and flicks
2a : to make by small short touches (as of paint or ink) that together produce an even or softly graded shadow
b : to apply (something, such as paint) by repeated small touches
3 : speckle, fleck



Definition of stipple (Entry 2 of 2)

: production of gradation of light and shade in graphic art by stippling small points, larger dots, or longer strokes also : an effect produced in this way

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Other Words from stipple


stippler \ ˈsti-​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce stipple (audio) \ noun

Examples of stipple in a Sentence

Verb the sunlight falling through the lace curtain stippled her face
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Martha Ulrich shivered in the harsh February cold, her bare legs stippled with goosebumps. oregonlive, 4 Feb. 2020 Kenturah Davis’ 2015 self-portrait was made using an ink stippling technique. Susan Dunne,, 22 Oct. 2019 The terrifying time was stippled with the ordinary and the joyous., 11 Oct. 2019 Curliss recommends the following Colorblends varieties, available at Flamenco Queen: Big white blooms brushed and stippled with red. Karen Dardick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Sep. 2019 Compare stippling the pages with water spots, unable to put your arms down, with balancing an ashtray on the rim of the tub, unable to put one arm down. Garnett Kilberg Cohen, The New Yorker, 25 Aug. 2019 The sedan’s rear driver’s door was stippled with multiple bullet holes, and both windows on that side were shot out. Alice Yin,, 14 Sep. 2019 Kardashian mixed the two products together on the back of her hand with a Kabuki brush and then quickly stippled it all over her face. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 16 Aug. 2019 Mills, who performed the autopsy, said test firing results from 6 inches most closely resembled the gunpowder stippling pattern on Chase Fleischauer’s head, but the lack of soot found in the wound more closely resembled the test from 9 inches. Mike Longaecker, Twin Cities, 13 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The surface of the lake, roused to a salt-and-pepper stipple by the rain, was devoid of sailboats or swimmers. John Bowe, Travel + Leisure, 5 June 2021 With the iron heated, carefully press the tip into the plastic of the handle repeatedly to cover it with stipples. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, 19 Nov. 2019 The 26-year-old tenor saxophonist has set most of these original compositions at a medium-fast tempo, and her saxophone stipples and scampers, gesturing toward the influence of the alto saxophonist Steve Lehman. New York Times, 11 May 2018 Pro Tip: To quickly cover dark circles, stipple (a.k.a. Amber Kallor, Marie Claire, 28 Apr. 2017 A third left an entrance wound surrounded by gunpowder stipple at the base of his skull and an exit wound in his left cheek. John Branch, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2017

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


circa 1762, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1837, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stipple


Dutch stippelen to spot, dot

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Time Traveler for stipple

Time Traveler

The first known use of stipple was circa 1762

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Cite this Entry

“Stipple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for stipple



English Language Learners Definition of stipple

: to draw or paint small dots on (something)

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stipple


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