English edit

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Etymology edit

1670-80. Probably back-formation from motley.

Pronunciation edit

  • (US) enPR: mǒt' l, IPA(key): /ˈmɑt əl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒtəl

Verb edit

mottle (third-person singular simple present mottles, present participle mottling, simple past and past participle mottled)

  1. To mark with blotches of different color, or shades of color, as if stained; to spot; to maculate.
    • 1936, F.J. Thwaites, chapter XXII, in The Redemption, Sydney: H. John Edwards, published 1940, page 214:
      Between the grey mist of rainclouds the sun suddenly appeared to mottle the wet asphalt of Marble Arch in patches of silver and ebony.

Noun edit

mottle (countable and uncountable, plural mottles)

  1. (countable) A distinguishing blotch of colour.
  2. (countable, uncountable) A mottled or spotted pattern.
    The most common symptom is a mild mottle on the youngest leaves of infected plants.
    • 1992, Quarantine Pests for Europe, Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CAB International, →ISBN, page 972:
      SLRSV, being mostly latent in strawberries and other fruit crops, is of very minor importance. It can cause some mottle and decline in certain strawberry cultivars.