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

  • noun A small spot, mark, or discoloration.
  • noun A tiny amount; a bit.
  • transitive verb To mark with specks.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A very small superficial spot or stain; a small dot, blot, blotch, or patch appearing on or adhering to a surface: as, specks of mold on paper; fly -specks on a wall.
  • noun In fruit, specifically, a minute spot denoting the beginning of decay; a pit or spot of rot or rottenness; hence, sometimes, a fruit affected by rot.
  • noun A patch or piece of some material.
  • noun Something appearing as a spot or patch; a small piece spread out: as, a speck of snow or of cloud.
  • noun A distinct or separate piece or particle; a very little bit; an atom; a mite: as, specks of dust; a speck of snuff or of soot; hence, the smallest quantity; the least morsel: as, he has not a speck of humor or of generosity.
  • noun A percoid fish, Ulocentra stigmæa of Jordan, common in ponds of the hill-country from Georgia to Louisiana. It is a darter, 2½ inches long, of an olivaceous color, speckled with small orange spots, and otherwise variegated.
  • noun A speck-moth.
  • To spot; mark or stain in spots or dots.
  • Of fruit, specifically, to mark with a discolored spot denoting decay or rot: usually in the past participle.
  • To stain or dot with ink small blemishes in (a finished fabric), so as to conceal or obliterate them.
  • noun Fat; lard; fat meat. Now used chiefly as derived from the German in the parts of Pennsylvania originally settled by Germans, or from the Dutch in New York (also in South Africa, for the fat meat of the hippopotamus); among whalers it is used for whale's blubber.

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

  • noun The blubber of whales or other marine mammals; also, the fat of the hippopotamus.
  • noun (Naut.) falls or ropes rove through blocks for hoisting the blubber and bone of whales on board a whaling vessel.
  • noun A small discolored place in or on anything, or a small place of a color different from that of the main substance; a spot; a stain; a blemish.
  • noun A very small thing; a particle; a mite
  • noun (Zoöl.) A small etheostomoid fish (Ulocentra stigmæa) common in the Eastern United States.
  • transitive verb To cause the presence of specks upon or in, especially specks regarded as defects or blemishes; to spot; to speckle.

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

  • noun The blubber of whales or other marine mammals.
  • noun The fat of the hippopotamus.
  • noun countable A tiny spot, especially of dirt etc.
  • noun uncountable A juniper-flavoured ham originally from Tyrol.
  • noun A very small thing; a particle; a whit.
  • noun A small etheostomoid fish (Ulocentra stigmaea) common in the eastern United States.
  • verb transitive To mark with specks; to speckle.

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

  • noun a slight but appreciable amount
  • noun (nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything
  • verb produce specks in or on
  • noun a very small spot


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

[Middle English specke, from Old English specca.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English spekke.


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  • A type of ham that is juniper flavored. It is salt cured and smoked.

    January 29, 2009

  • I eat speck quite often but I've never noticed the juniper flavour, just a lot of smokiness. I'll pay more attention next time.

    January 29, 2009

  • Have you seen her dressed in blue?

    See the sky in front of you

    And her face is like a sail

    Speck of white so fair and pale

    Have you seen a lady fairer?

    (She's a rainbow, by The Rolling Stones)

    April 19, 2009

  • The fat meat of the hippopotamus.

    December 7, 2011