from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To spot, blemish, or pollute.
  • adjective Spotted, blotched, or stained.
  • adjective Morally sullied or impure.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To spot; stain; blur.
  • Spotted; marked with spots; blotted; hence, stained; defiled; impure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To spot; to stain; to blur.
  • adjective Marked with spots or maculæ; blotched; hence, defiled; impure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To spot; to stain; to blur.
  • adjective Marked with spots or maculae; blotched.
  • adjective Defiled; impure.

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

  • adjective spotted or blotched
  • verb spot, stain, or pollute
  • adjective morally blemished; stained or impure
  • verb make dirty or spotty, as by exposure to air; also used metaphorically


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

[Middle English maculaten, from Latin maculāre, maculāt-, from macula, spot.]


  • Because the notion of blackness has been made equivalent to sin: maculate vs. immaculate, the staining of purity.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • A Cordelier has no hesitation in applying the epithet of blasphemer to a Dominican who says that the Holy Virgin was born in original sin, notwithstanding that the Dominicans have a bull from the pope which permits them to teach the maculate conception in their convents, and that, besides this bull, they have in their forum the express declaration of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • He has never decided whether His mother came into the world maculate or immaculate.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • Its immaculate reputation sits totally at odds with its maculate workings.


  • Most maculate thoughts, master, are masked under such colours.

    Love’s Labour ’s Lost

  • Well, there was no denying that, Cory thought ruefully, assimilating the pale blonde hair, artfully coiffed, the im maculate maquillage, the close fitting dove-coloured trouser suit that showed off her mother's slim, toned figure to the best advantage, and the fur jacket draped casually round her shoulders.

    Rome's Revenge

  • Of this half-hundred a few are used in Shakespeare, but not at present, as verbs; thus, to _maculate_, to _miracle_, to _mud_, to _mist_, to _mischief_, to _moral_ -- also

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVI., December, 1880.

  • But the tears and blood which follow violence and wrong maculate the pages of history on which their glory is recorded.

    Hidden Treasures Or, Why Some Succeed While Others Fail

  • To-morrow's papers would provide them with full accounts, the name of Susan Brundon among the maculate details ....

    The Three Black Pennys A Novel

  • In the maculate atmosphere of flat wine and stale cologne he had a sharp recurrence of the scent of pines, lifting warmly in sunny space.

    The Three Black Pennys A Novel


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  • Found in the poem 'Sea-Fret' by Robert Robertson from his collection Swithering.

    'Rust, the penetrant,

    turns iron maculate'

    December 6, 2006

  • My night beast is more than he seems -

    A tireless hatcher of schemes.

    With paws clawed and spatulate

    Coat rippled and maculate

    He stalks my most unwary dreams.

    April 19, 2019