Something that is mottled has spots or patches with different shades or colors, like the reddish blotches that can appear on your skin if it’s exposed to extreme temperatures.

Experts believe the adjective mottled comes from the noun motley, which refers to something varied in appearance or nature, like a motley crew with its wild mix of people and styles. Mottled carries a similar sense, in that it refers to a surface appearance characterized by varied patches of color. If something is mottled, it has random spots or patches, like the mottled coat of a dapple gray horse.

Definitions of mottled

adj having spots or patches of color

having patterns (especially colorful patterns)

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