I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, perhaps from mot mote, speck Date: 14th century 1. variegated in color <
a motley coat
2. composed of diverse often incongruous elements <
a motley crowd
II. noun Etymology: Middle English, probably from 1motley Date: 14th century 1. a woolen fabric of mixed colors made in England between the 14th and 17th centuries 2. a garment made of motley; especially the characteristic dress of the professional fool 3. jester, fool 4. a mixture especially of incongruous elements

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Motley — ist der Familienname von John Lothrop Motley, US amerikanischer Historiker Marion Motley, US amerikanischer American Football Spieler Willard Motley, US amerikanischer Schriftsteller Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Motley (Alabama) Motley… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Motley — Mot ley, a. [OE. mottelee, motle; cf. OF. mattel[ e] clotted, curdled, OF, ciel mattonn[ e] a mottled sky, mate, maton, curdled milk, Prov. G. matte curd. Cf. {Mottle}.] 1. Variegated in color; consisting of different colors; dappled; party… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Motley — Mot ley, n. 1. A combination of distinct colors; esp., the party colored cloth, or clothing, worn by the professional fool. Chaucer. Motley s the only wear. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, a jester, a fool. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] {Man of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Motley — Motley, MN U.S. city in Minnesota Population (2000): 585 Housing Units (2000): 270 Land area (2000): 1.321566 sq. miles (3.422839 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.067839 sq. miles (0.175703 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.389405 sq. miles (3.598542 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • motley — [mät′lē] adj. [ME mottley < ?] 1. of many colors or patches of color 2. Rare wearing many colored garments [a motley fool] 3. having or composed of many different or clashing elements; heterogeneous [a motley group] n. 1. cloth of mixed colors …   English World dictionary

  • Motley — (spr. mottlĭ), John Lothrop, nordamerikan. Geschichtschreiber, geb. 15. April 1814 in Dorchester (Massachusetts), gest. 29. Mai 1877 in England, studierte auf der Harvard Universität in Cambridge, dann in Göttingen, wo er sich mit Bismarck… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Motley — (spr. mottlĕ), John Lothrop, nordamerik. Geschichtschreiber, geb. 15. April 1814 zu Dorchester (Massachusetts), gest. 29. Mai 1877 bei Dorchester in England; Hauptwerke: »The rise of the Dutch republic« (deutsch 1857 60; neue Ausg. 1860 61),… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • motley — index composite, compound, diverse, heterogeneous, miscellaneous, multifarious Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • motley — (adj.) late 14c., parti colored (originally of fabric), from Anglo Fr. motteley, probably from O.E. mot speck (see MOTE (Cf. mote)). But Klein s sources say probably from Gaulish. Diversified in color, especially of a fool s dress. Hence,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • motley — adj 1 *variegated, parti colored, checkered, checked, pied, piebald, skewbald, dappled, freaked 2 heterogeneous, *miscellaneous, assorted, promiscuous Analogous words: *different, diverse, divergent, disparate, various: discrepant, incompatible,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • motley — [adj] mixed, varied assorted, conglomerate, dappled, discrepant, disparate, dissimilar, diversified, heterogeneous, indiscriminate, kaleidoscopic, mingled, miscellaneous, mixed, mottled, multicolor, multicolored, multiform, multihued,… …   New thesaurus

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