from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Having elements of great variety or incongruity; heterogeneous: "Most Ivy League freshman classes are chosen from a motley collection of constituencies . . . and a bare majority of entering students can honestly be called scholars” ( New York Times).
- adj. Having many colors; variegated; parti-colored: a motley tunic.
- n. The parti-colored attire of a court jester.
- n. A heterogeneous, often incongruous mixture of elements.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Comprising greatly varied elements, to the point of incongruity; heterogeneous
- adj. Having many colours; variegated
- n. A jester's multicoloured clothes
- n. An incongruous mixture
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Variegated in color; consisting of different colors; dappled; party-colored.
- adj. Wearing motley or party-colored clothing. See Motley, n., 1.
- adj. Composed of different or various parts; heterogeneously made or mixed up; discordantly composite.
- n. A combination of distinct colors; esp., the party-colored cloth, or clothing, worn by the professional fool.
- n. Hence, a jester, a fool.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A habit made of pieces of cloth of different colors in glaring contrast: the usual dress of the jester or professional fool.
- n. A jester; a fool.
- n. Any mixture, as of colors.
- Party-colored; variegated in color; consisting of different colors: as, a motley coat.
- Composed of or exhibiting a combination of discordant elements; heterogeneous in composition; diversified.
- To variegate; give different colors to.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds
- adj. having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly
- n. a collection containing a variety of sorts of things
- n. a garment made of motley (especially a court jester's costume)
- v. make something more diverse and varied
- n. a multicolored woolen fabric woven of mixed threads in 14th to 17th century England
- v. make motley; color with different colors
Middle English motlei, variegated cloth, variegated, probably from Anglo-Norman, probably from Middle English mot, speck; see mote1.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)