A piebald horse.


From pie (magpie) + bald (having white patches or blazes).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpaɪ.bɔːld/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpaɪ.bɔld/, /ˈpaɪ.bɑld/


piebald (comparative more piebald, superlative most piebald)

  1. (also used figuratively) Spotted or blotched, especially in black and white.
    • 1965, Susan Cooper, Over Sea, Under Stone, page 20:
      "Well, isn't that just like a girl. All this round you, and you only see a bit of dust. It'll brush off." He patted ineffectually at his piebald shirt.
    • 2001, Michel Faber, Under the Skin, page 4:
      Usually, however, the hitcher was standing exactly where she'd first passed him, his arm perhaps just marginally less erect, his clothing (if rain was setting in) just that little bit more piebald.
    • 2011, Stanley Coren & Sarah Hodgson, Understanding Your Dog For Dummies:
      The classic example of a piebald dog is the Dalmatian.
  2. (figuratively) Of mixed character, heterogeneous.
    • 1839, Charles Hodge, Henry Boynton Smith, The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, Volume XI, page 544:
      And at the present day, the wanton introduction of scientific terms from the Greek and Latin, and of phrases from the French, threatens to render our tongue still more piebald, heterogeneous and unwieldy.
    • 1864, T. E. Espin, Supply and Training of Ministers, in Church of England, Report of the Proceedings of the Church Congress [1863], page 67:
      Hence you will make the piebald Church more piebald than ever.
    • 1970, Time, Volume 95, page 67:
      Out there on the stage is the largest — and most piebald — rock band in captivity.

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piebald (plural piebalds)

  1. An animal with piebald coloration.