- The definition of motley is an assorted or mixed group or collection.
A mix of people of different ages, races, genders and ideologies is an example of a motley mix.
- of many colors or patches of color
- Rare wearing many-colored garments: a motley fool
- having or composed of many different or clashing elements; heterogeneous: a motley group
Origin of motleyMiddle English mottley ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps
- cloth of mixed colors
- Rare a garment of various colors, worn by a clown or jester
- Rare a fool or jester
- a combination of diverse or clashing elements
Motley, John Lothrop 1814-77; U.S. historian & diplomat
- Having elements of great variety or incongruity; heterogeneous: a motley collection of students at the coffee shop.
- Having many colors; variegated; parti-colored: a motley tunic.
- The parti-colored attire of a court jester.
- A heterogeneous, often incongruous mixture of elements.
Origin of motleyMiddle English motlei, variegated cloth, variegated, probably from Anglo-Norman, probably from Middle English mot, speck; see mote1.
(comparative more motley, superlative most motley)