motley

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman motteley ‎(parti-colored), late 14th c.

Adjective[edit]

motley ‎(comparative more motley, superlative most motley)

  1. Comprising greatly varied elements, to the point of incongruity; heterogeneous.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterII:
      Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, []. Even such a boat as the Mount Vernon offered a total deck space so cramped as to leave secrecy or privacy well out of the question, even had the motley and democratic assemblage of passengers been disposed to accord either.
  2. Having many colours; variegated.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

motley ‎(plural motleys)

  1. An incongruous mixture.
  2. A jester's multicoloured clothes.
  3. (by extension) A jester; a fool.

Translations[edit]