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From Middle English freken, frekel, from Old Norse freknur pl (compare Faroese frøknur, Swedish fräknar, Danish fregner), s-less variant of Old English sprecel from Proto-Germanic *sprekalą (freckle) (compare dialectal Norwegian sprekla, Middle High German spreckel), from Proto-Indo-European *sp(h)er(e)g- (to strew, sprinkle). Cognate with Albanian fruth (measles). More at spark. Related to spry, sprack.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfɹɛkəl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛkəl


freckle (plural freckles)

  1. A small brownish or reddish pigmentation spot on the surface of the skin.
    Steve has brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles on his cheeks and nose.
    • c. 1920s-1930s, Charlotte Druitt Cole, Runaway Jane:
      The rabbits came out from their burrows to peep, / The wind whispered, "Hush! little Jane's gone to sleep!" / And the spiders came spinning a curtain of lace, / Lest the sun should make freckles on Jane's pretty face.
    • 1961 November 10, Joseph Heller, “The Soldier in White”, in Catch-22 [], New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, →OCLC, page 171:
      Nurse Cramer had a cute nose and a radiant, blooming complexion dotted with fetching sprays of adorable freckles that Yossarian detested.
  2. Any small spot or discoloration.
  3. (Australia) A small sweet consisting of a flattish mound of chocolate covered in hundreds and thousands.
  4. (Australia, slang) The anus.


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freckle (third-person singular simple present freckles, present participle freckling, simple past and past participle freckled)

  1. (transitive) To cover with freckles.
  2. (intransitive) To become covered with freckles.

Related terms[edit]


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