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stipple (countable and uncountable, plural stipples)

  1. The use of small dots that give the appearance of shading; the dots thus used.


stipple (third-person singular simple present stipples, present participle stippling, simple past and past participle stippled)

  1. (transitive) To use small dots to give the appearance of shading to.
    • c. 1760, Oliver Goldsmith, The citizen of the world: or, letters from a Chinese philosopher, residing in London, to his friends in the east, Letter 48,[1]
      Don’t you think, Major Vampyre, that eye-brow stippled very prettily?
    • 1851, John Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelitism, New York: John Wiley, p. 50,[2]
      The worst drawings that have ever come from [ Turner’s] hands are some of this second period, on which he has spent much time and laborious thought; drawings filled with incident from one side to the other, with skies stippled into morbid blue, and warm lights set against them in violent contrast []
    • 1922, T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Chapter 41,[3]
      There were no footmarks on the ground, for each wind swept like a great brush over the sand surface, stippling the traces of the last travellers till the surface was again a pattern of innumerable tiny virgin waves.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt, Chapter 10,[4]
      Outside the car window was a glaze of darkness stippled with the gold of infrequent mysterious lights.
    • 1966, “Charisma, Calluses and Cash,” Time, 14 October, 1966,[5]
      The biennial profusion of campaign billboards and posters stipples the land that Lady Bird wants to beautify and Lyndon yearns to own.
    • 1988, Edmund White, The Beautiful Room is Empty, New York: Vintage International, 1994, Chapter Five,
      Although he was clean-shaven, black Benday dots traced the narrow pathway of his thin mustache and the stippled edge of his jaw.