Motley meaning

mŏtlē
Frequency:
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.

adjective
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Having elements of great variety or incongruity; heterogeneous.

A motley collection of students at the coffee shop.

adjective
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Having many colors; variegated; parti-colored.

A motley tunic.

adjective
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A heterogeneous, often incongruous mixture of elements.
noun
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Having or composed of many different or clashing elements; heterogeneous.

A motley group.

adjective
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The parti-colored attire of a court jester.
noun
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Of many colors or patches of color.
adjective
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(historical) Wearing many-colored garments.

A motley fool.

adjective
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Cloth of mixed colors.
noun
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(historical) A garment of various colors, worn by a clown or jester.
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A combination of diverse or clashing elements.
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(person) 1814-77; U.S. historian & diplomat.
proper name
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Comprising greatly varied elements, to the point of incongruity; heterogeneous.
adjective
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Having many colours; variegated.
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(by extension) A jester; a fool.

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Origin of motley

  • Middle English motlei variegated cloth, variegated probably from Anglo-Norman probably from Middle English mot speck mote1

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition