Definition of spotty in English:



  • 1Marked with spots.

    ‘a spotty purple flower’
    • ‘They wore long black cloaks and tall pointy black hats, and had crooked noses and rode on broomsticks, or else they drove around in large Daimlers, ordering their menservants to steal spotty dogs.’
    spotted, mottled, speckled, speckly, flecked, specked, stippled
    polka-dot, spotted, dotted
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    1. 1.1British Having pimples.
      ‘a spotty youth’
      • ‘They might be like fat people you see in elevators, the spotty people at the beach, the sour people in parking lots.’
      • ‘I could visualise all the spotty first-years outside, in tears because they had missed out on tickets to an exhilarating show that had sold out earlier that afternoon.’
      • ‘David is the fatherless image of adolescent youth, rake-thin, spotty and with an ill-defined sense-of-being, provided by his uncle's friends.’
      • ‘It's not that there are more spotty teenage boys around, it's simply that we've all become more like spotty teenage boys.’
      pimply, pimpled, acned, poor-complexioned
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    2. 1.2North American Of uneven quality; patchy.
      ‘his spotty record on the environment’
      • ‘The museum's eclectic holdings, which date from the 12th century to the present, are rich with treasures but spotty on mid to late 20th-century art.’
      • ‘But they also underscore Pound's deep interest in African culture and his active, if spotty, engagement with African-Americans.’
      • ‘At Dusk have done what every band should do after a spotty record; focused, regrouped and hit the next one clean out of the park.’
      • ‘Particularly in developing nations, where even dial-up Internet access is spotty and download speeds are stuck in first gear, plain-old telephone service is often the better way to go.’
      • ‘The video quality is spotty, with jagged lines and minor compression issues.’
      • ‘The actual show was somewhat spotty’
      • ‘Daily newspapers and television programs have a far more spotty record.’
      • ‘Since its marketing coverage is still spotty in certain regions, a growth-oriented buyer will want to negotiate new relationships in the Midwest and elsewhere.’
      • ‘Yet, in fact, the record of the incubators is spotty at best.’
      • ‘As a result, his body of film work is spotty at best.’
      • ‘That record was spotty, but there were enough bright spots to suggest a second Logan / Kimbell album might be in order, all the kinks presumably having been worked out in their first effort together.’
      • ‘The transfer is good, although the quality is spotty given the low-budget stock used.’
      • ‘The on-and-off-again availability of Sills' recorded legacy is as mysterious as its quality is spotty.’
      • ‘And with only three records to his credit, neophytes don't exactly face a long and spotty recorded history to sift through for the goods.’
      • ‘Video quality on this History Channel release is a little spotty.’
      • ‘These were three of the best movies I saw during the festival, which featured a much more consistently interesting set of films than last year's spotty slate.’
      • ‘While not the first time Mott's had marketed to Hispanics in Spanish-language TV and print, previous efforts proved spotty and inconsistent.’
      • ‘I'll confess my own tastes don't normally run in this direction; I generally prefer other composers and my knowledge of Broadway show tunes is spotty at best.’
      • ‘Rather than being a consistent album loaded with confusing, awe-inspiring songs it's a spotty record with a few instances of glorious success, some interesting inconclusiveness and one or two failures.’
      • ‘As was the case on the Season One release, video quality on this disc is a little spotty.’
      patchy, uneven, inconsistent, erratic, fluctuating, irregular, non-uniform
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