- having spots of a different shade, tone, or color from the background; mottled.
- a spot or mottled marking, usually occurring in clusters.
- an animal with a mottled skin or coat.
- dappled; spotted: a dapple horse.
verb (used with or without object), dap·pled, dap·pling.
- to mark or become marked with spots.
- to mark or become marked with spots or patches of a different colour; mottle
- mottled or spotted markings
- a dappled horse, etc
- marked with dapples or spots
early 15c. (implied in past participle adjective dappled), perhaps from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse depill “spot,” Norwegian dape “puddle.” Perhaps a back-formation from, or merger with, Middle English adjective dapple-gray “apple-gray” (late 14c.), based on resemblance to the markings on an apple (cf. Old Norse apalgrar “dapple-gray”), or, as it was used of gray horses with round blotches, perhaps via resemblance to apples themselves.