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

  • adj. Spotted; mottled.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a mottled or spotted skin or coat, dapple.
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of dapple.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Spotted; variegated with spots of different colors or shades.

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

  • adj. having spots or patches of color


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

Middle English, probably from Old Norse depill, spot, splash, diminutive of dapi, pool.


  • I grab my bowl, that Mary had added a heap of cilantro, Parmesan and cabbage, and wander over to the table with the window view of the fog-draped, rain dappled, slow-moving Milwaukee River taking its sorry-ass time through the warehouse district on its way to Lake Michigan.

    jeff winke | in the soup « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • I woke in dappled shade to the sound of laughter and splashing water.

    A Time to Every Purpose « A Fly in Amber

  • She had great, dreamy, hazel eyes, a milky skin dappled with little golden freckles, and delicately arched eyebrows, giving her a demure, questioning look which made people, especially lads in their teens, want to answer it.

    Rilla of Ingleside

  • Behind us, fair, light-smitten hills in dappled splendor lie,

    The Watchman and Other Poems

  • Dappled sun/dappled shade: Similar to partial sun, the term dappled refers to sunlight that is filtered overhead by the leaves and branches of a tree or other tall planting.

    A valuable tool or a waste of $9.99?? « Sugar Creek Gardens’ Blog

  • The child's eye recalls the dappled light on the Solent, the blue water off the southern coast of England in May.


  • But you would no sooner use the word "dappled" of this place than you would come here to read a love letter.

    In search of the real Philip Larkin

  • I was forced to study Hopkins for English A level several years ago and hated it - I need a "dappled" room

    'This is the worst.'

  • The Minnow hath, when he is in perfect season, and not sick, which is only presently after spawning, a kind of dappled or waved colour, like to a panther, on its sides, inclining to a greenish or sky-colour; his belly being milk white; and his back almost black or blackish.

    The Compleat Angler : or, The Contemplative Man`s Recreation

  • To take the prize for best purple prose, Mike Pedersen of North Berwick, Maine, relied on a thesaurus'-worth of synonyms:"As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue."

    Wisconsin professor wins 2011 bad writing contest


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Hey, there! Hoop-la! the circus is in town!

    Have you seen the elephant? Have you seen the clown?

    Have you seen the dappled horse gallop round the ring?

    Have you seen the acrobats on the dizzy swing?

    Have you seen the tumbling men tumble up and down?

    Hoop-la! Hoop-la! the circus is in town!

    - CJ Dennis, 'The Circus'.

    July 8, 2009