Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Mottled or spotted marking, as on a horse's coat.
  • n. An individual spot.
  • n. An animal with a mottled or spotted skin or coat.
  • transitive v. To mark or mottle with spots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mottled marking, usually in clusters.
  • n. An animal with a mottled or spotted skin or coat.
  • adj. Having a mottled or spotted skin or coat, dappled.
  • v. To mark or become marked with mottling or spots.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the spots on a dappled animal.
  • adj. Marked with spots of different shades of color; spotted; variegated.
  • transitive v. To variegate with spots; to spot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A spot; a dot; one of a number of various spots, as on an animal's skin or coat.
  • n. A dappled horse.
  • Marked with spots; spotted; variegated with spots of different colors or shades of color: as, a dapple horse.
  • To spot; variegate with spots.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small contrasting part of something
  • v. colour with streaks or blotches of different shades

Etymologies

Back-formation from dappled.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • -- [MS.M. erased.] [440] [For the use of "dapple" as an intransitive verb, compare

    The Works of Lord Byron. Vol. 4

  • A pleasant dapple of sunlight peers through the blinds.

    Paul Dailing: Disney Gives Mothers an Offer They Can't Refuse: A Passion Play

  • With the right car, getting the sun to dapple your interior, the wind to blow through your hair and every other convertible cliché, is painless.

    Get a Practical...Convertible?

  • And that might have been the start of my career on ice if not for a certain dapple gray Arabian horse-cross Shetland pony named Shadow no relation to my cat.

    Welcome to My World

  • What sodden indistinction just an hour ago had all but persuaded us not to regret resumes its first divisions: slate from cinder, ash from smoke, warm dapple-gray from moleskin, dove - from

    Varenna

  • They know him so well that at times they find it hard to distinguish where they end and Kenny begins, and will often simply lie around with Kenny in their shared Parisian loft apartment making enigmatic remarks and watching the sunlight dapple their skin as they bask in the intoxicating flush of intimacy.

    Has Kenny Dalglish taken Liverpool as far as he can?| Barney Ronay

  • And it's bright now, we're passing under dozens of yellow trees which dapple us indifferently, produce a speechless richness bigger than light, the autumn resonant.

    Gerontophile: An Imposition

  •  A black coach pulled by a dapple grey, pulled away from the platform leaving me and another drunken gentleman waiting for the next coach to arrive.

    London Fog

  • And, over in the UK, police search for the Beast of Hoddlesden, "dapple pale brown creature which had a white spotted face and a dark ringed tail."

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  • She made her way there now, all green and leafy, all dapple and shade.

    Winter Bloom

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