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

  • n. A speck or small spot, as a natural dot of color on skin, plumage, or foliage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small spot or speck on the skin, plumage or foliage.
  • n. The random distribution of light when it is scattered by a rough surface.
  • v. To mark with speckles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A little or spot in or anything, of a different substance or color from that of the thing itself.
  • transitive v. To mark with small spots of a different color from that of the rest of the surface; to variegate with spots of a different color from the ground or surface.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To mark with specks or spots; fleck; speck; spot.
  • n. A little speck or spot; a speckled marking; the state of being speckled: as, yellow with patches of speckle.
  • n. Color; hence, kind; sort.

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

  • v. mark with small spots
  • v. produce a mottled effect
  • n. a small contrasting part of something


Middle English spakle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The noun is from Middle Dutch spekkel; the verb was later coined from the noun, in the late 16th century. (Wiktionary)



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