Main definitions of speck in English

: speck1speck2

speck1

noun

  • 1A tiny spot.

    ‘the figure in the distance had become a mere speck’
    • ‘Floaters are tiny spots or specks that seem to float across your eyes.’
    • ‘Soon a peek of light appeared on the flat horizon, a tiny speck no larger than the glare of a flashlight a mile away.’
    • ‘Aircraft do really travel through the skies, even if they are only seen as tiny specks from the ground.’
    • ‘One or two people, tiny specks, milled around on the dock.’
    • ‘There were thousands and thousands of tiny specks moving all over the horizon.’
    • ‘They eased the ponies forwards, and soon the village was a tiny speck in the distance.’
    • ‘Turning the glass snow-globe over and over in his hands, Ross Granger watches tiny white specks swirling around in the water.’
    • ‘Tiny white specks gleamed steel-hard in the blackness.’
    • ‘I saw our little hill on which the palace is situated, and then Rowen showed me tiny specks in the distance.’
    • ‘From here the panorama was different and the foreground had rolling hills dotted by tiny, shiny specks which were actually slate tiled roofs reflecting sunlight.’
    • ‘The captain watched as the planet appeared first as a tiny speck, then as a steadily growing disk on the view-glass.’
    • ‘Indeed air travellers will perceive the islands as tiny specks in endless expanses of blue nothingness.’
    • ‘But the sky was dark, the tiny specks in the sky sparkling dimly in the pitch blackness.’
    • ‘The people below them turned into tiny specks as they took off high into the air.’
    • ‘A pixel is one of those many tiny colored specks that make up a digital image.’
    • ‘These tiny little brown specks will fly as high as eight feet into the air, and once they stick to your house or windows, they stick like glue.’
    • ‘I'm on a camel, and there's a desert, and a tiny speck in the distance coming closer and closer.’
    • ‘You could see a tiny speck of red, like fire, in her eyes.’
    • ‘They are tiny specks admittedly but of such a vivid blue you can spot them a mile off.’
    • ‘The path was empty, save for a faint sobbing sound and a tiny speck of a figure in the distance.’
    dot, pinprick, spot, fleck, speckle, stain, mark, smudge, blemish
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A small particle of a substance.
      ‘specks of dust’
      • ‘Aside from a few specks of dirt, the print looked flawless.’
      • ‘The video quality is lacking: the picture is grainy, the colors bleed throughout, and I saw more than a few specks of dirt.’
      • ‘Hens herd their chicks from the shade of one log to the next, searching for specks of grain along the way.’
      • ‘The prophetess smoothed the front of her skirt, absent-mindedly removing a tiny speck of dust.’
      • ‘She could even see individual specks of dust floating in the air.’
      • ‘A tiny speck of blood landed on his newly polished red-leather shoes.’
      • ‘Riders were arriving with red dirt caked on thick to their faces, with specks of dirt attaching themselves to each singular pore and whisker.’
      • ‘It surprised me the attention Stan paid to the tiniest of dust specks.’
      • ‘He brushed some almost undetectable specks off his apron as a sudden flood of customers entered the store.’
      • ‘When it was tested the stone revealed 13 specks of gold.’
      • ‘With specks of gravy on his tie and the heavy smell of garlic, his dinner is a dead giveaway.’
      • ‘Some birds flew by, leaving specks of pollen behind.’
      • ‘The tonsils and back of the throat may be covered with a whitish coating, or appear red, swollen, and dotted with whitish or yellowish specks of pus.’
      • ‘When he wiped a few invisible specks of dust from the cantle, Isabella knew he was simply stalling for words, turning the situation over in his mind.’
      • ‘Caspian brushed invisible specks of dust off his clothes.’
      • ‘Margaret stood, brushing invisible specks of grass off of her skirt.’
      • ‘It looked like mud, with specks of hardened dirt in it.’
      • ‘A tiny speck of glass fell to the ground at his feet.’
      • ‘Aside from the occasional specks of dirt and some light grain in dawn/dusk and night scenes, it is a soft transfer but respectable for a twenty-three year old film.’
      • ‘Taking slow, deep breaths, Roy recovered from the fit of coughing, and looked down at the handkerchief, frowning at the specks of blood that were on it.’
      particle, bit, tiny bit, piece, tiny piece, atom, molecule, grain, trace
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A rotten spot in fruit.

verb

[with object]
  • Mark with small spots.

    ‘their skin was specked with goose pimples’
    • ‘The bear, weak from hibernation, was focused on procuring an easier meal, such as scavenged bison carcasses and the tiny white blossoms that speck the forest edges.’
    • ‘Blood spurted everywhere, some specked Wythene's face.’
    • ‘My eyes were brown, specked with a different shade; my hair was mid-back length, dark brown, soft and slightly curly.’
    • ‘She played with the edges of the turquoise colored polka dots specking her pajama bottoms.’
    • ‘Carlton Beach on Saturday was specked with stars, champagne and fine food.’
    • ‘Her short hair was specked with gray and her face contained only a few wrinkles.’
    • ‘The mustache and short beard were orange specked with gray.’
    • ‘His short, brown hair was tousled, greasy, and specked with dirt.’
    • ‘They both had the same color hair (although Eric's was specked with gray and white,) and the attitude had to run in their blood.’
    • ‘The ham was, by this stage, specked with fungus and small white things that might have been maggots.’

Origin

Old English specca; compare with the noun speckle.

Pronunciation

speck

/spɛk/

Main definitions of speck in English

: speck1speck2

speck2

noun

mass noun
  • A smoked ham of a type produced in north-eastern Italy.

    • ‘Add the radicchio, thyme, speck, prosciutto, and chicken stock and cook for another eight to ten minutes.’
    • ‘Lay the slices of speck over the melon and serve immediately.’

Origin

Via Italian from Dutch spek, German Speck ‘fat bacon, whale blubber’ (in which sense it was formerly used in English): related to Old English spec.

Pronunciation

speck

/spɛk/