Definition of dapple in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdap(ə)l/


[with object]
Mark with spots or rounded patches: the floor was dappled with pale moonlight
More example sentences
  • The woodland floor is dappled with sunlight, which makes it difficult to tell what is a mushroom and what is just a dead leaf.
  • The cuffs on her arms had been ripped off, and although he could only see the underside of her arms, there was a hint of leopard spots dappling the sides.
  • Her hair had come loose from its braid and red marks dappled her chest.


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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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'.

Words that rhyme with dapple

apple, chapel, chappal, Chappell, grapple, scrapple

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dap¦ple

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