Definition of mottle in English:
verb[with object] (usually be mottled)
- The Upland Sandpiper is a black, brown, and white mottled bird with a long neck and tail and yellow legs.
- The bald skin is mottled with age spots, which have gone crusty.
- The woman was wearing a short sleeved beige top and her bare arms were mottled red from the cold.
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- Peanuts will grow in clay loam, but small clay particles stick to the textured surfaces of mature peanut pods, leaving mottles that mar the beauty of the shells.
- People like the original glass, even if it does have a few mottles.
- Remarkably, however, the rooms on the second floor below show little sign of decay, bar some mottles on the ceiling.
late 18th century: probably a back-formation from motley.
motley from (Late Middle English):
The word motley originally described a fabric woven from different-coloured threads, and was later extended to refer to the multicoloured costume traditionally worn by a court jester. To wear motley is to play the fool, and a motley fool is a professional jester. On with the motley is a quote from the English translation of Leoncavello's 1892 opera Pagliacci, about the real-life troubles of a group of comic actors, while motley crew was in use of a mixed bunch of sailors by the mid 18th century. Mottle was formed in the late 18th century from motley.
Definition of mottle in:
- British & World English dictionary
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