Definition of dapple in English:


Line breaks: dap¦ple
Pronunciation: /ˈdap(ə)l


[with object]


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  • 1A patch or spot of colour or light: a dapple of sunlight that shifted as the breeze stirred the leaves their designs tend to be simple, spots and dapples
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    • Small dapples of light occasionally broke through and barely illuminated any of the uneven littered ground.
    • It was a rather depressing wall, painted white with dapples of gray scuffs.
    • It came to me that the phenomenal world was like a dance of convections, a crazy dapple of hues, forever escaping one's notice, yet teasing the eye with its flow.
  • 2An animal with a dappled coat: smooth and wire-haired puppies, occasional dapples and piebalds
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    • By the time we had got to the croft at the top of the hill the ponies - including the dapple who is my special favourite - had been turned out and were taking the whole thing calmly at the other end of their field.
    • Barnyards dropped by in the elderly and well preserved Land-Rover which is the modern farmers' equivalent of the solid dapple horse, and made us an astoundingly generous offer.
    • I was somewhat adept at art, so with my pencils and notebook in my backpack, I drew a picture of Arthur with Excalibur (I had to settle on this name for I could not remember its true title), and his new horse (a large dapple named Joaquin).


late 16th century (earlier as an adjective): perhaps related to Old Norse depill 'spot'.

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