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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a speck of dirt (=a very small piece of dirt)
▪ Their house was so clean – there wasn’t a speck of dirt anywhere.
a speck of dust (=a tiny piece of dust)
▪ By the time I'd finished cleaning, there wasn't a speck of dust anywhere.
▪ It seemed obvious that all this operator handling must be contributing to the black specks.
▪ From up there, the grazing Holsteins are only black and white specks which seem incapable of movement.
▪ Dotted overhead, quite motionless and forming apparently random patterns, were myriads of tiny black specks.
▪ With astonishment, I saw distinct black specks dancing in the field of view.
▪ One by one its small relatives vanish, black specks which trick the eye, then are no more.
▪ However, do make sure that you choose fabrics that don't leave tiny specks of lint on the glass.
▪ Dotted overhead, quite motionless and forming apparently random patterns, were myriads of tiny black specks.
▪ It is a small mollusc, the size of a mussel, that starts life as a tiny free-swimming speck of jelly.
▪ Within their surfaces are tiny specks of quartz.
▪ Look for tiny specks of black dirt - these are the flea droppings.
▪ The stick of parachutes resembled giant wind-born seeds, the tiny figures dark specks against the cold grey sea.
▪ She realized that the specks on his shirt were not dirt but blood.
▪ The room looked immaculate, not a speck of dust anywhere.
▪ There were a few specks of paint on the floor.
▪ He picks out on the screen a tiny, bright, white speck materialising from the edge of the river.
▪ However, recently I've noticed white specks appearing in my hair.
▪ Just a smear of protoplasm, another speck on the biological scrap heap.
▪ Not a speck of talcum powder, not a smear of soap, on any surface.
▪ Sure enough, it was sprinkled with several dozen small white specks.
▪ The darkly-clad figure shook him off as if he were but a speck of dandruff upon his finely-tailored shoulder.
▪ These are all small ethnic groups, mere specks on the map.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Speck \Speck\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Specked; p. pr. & vb. n. Specking.] To cause the presence of specks upon or in, especially specks regarded as defects or blemishes; to spot; to speckle; as, paper specked by impurities in the water used in its manufacture.

Carnation, purple, azure, or specked with gold.


Speck \Speck\, n. [Cf. Icel. spik blubber, AS. spic, D. spek, G. speck.] The blubber of whales or other marine mammals; also, the fat of the hippopotamus.

Speck falls (Naut.), falls or ropes rove through blocks for hoisting the blubber and bone of whales on board a whaling vessel.


Speck \Speck\, n. [OE. spekke, AS. specca; cf. LG. spaak.]

  1. A small discolored place in or on anything, or a small place of a color different from that of the main substance; a spot; a stain; a blemish; as, a speck on paper or loth; specks of decay in fruit. ``Gray sand, with black specks.''

  2. A very small thing; a particle; a mite; as, specks of dust; he has not a speck of money.

    Many bright specks bubble up along the blue Egean.

  3. (Zo["o]l.) A small etheostomoid fish ( Ulocentra stigm[ae]a) common in the Eastern United States.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English specca "small spot, stain," of unknown origin; probably related to Dutch speckel "speck, speckle," Middle Dutch spekelen "to sprinkle" (compare speckle (v.)). Meaning "tiny bit" developed c.1400. As a verb, 1570s, from the noun. Related: Specked.


Etymology 1 n. (context countable English) A tiny spot, especially of dirt etc. vb. (context transitive English) To mark with specks; to speckle. Etymology 2

n. 1 The blubber of whales or other marine mammals. 2 The fat of the hippopotamus.

  1. n. a very small spot; "the plane was just a speck in the sky" [syn: pinpoint]

  2. (nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything [syn: atom, molecule, particle, corpuscle, mote]

  3. a slight but appreciable addition; "this dish could use a touch of garlic" [syn: touch, hint, tinge, mite, pinch, jot, soupcon]

  4. v. produce specks in or on; "speck the cloth"

Speck (disambiguation)

Speck is a word meaning "fat", generally for culinary use.

Speck may also refer to:

  • Speck (Cipher)
  • Speck (company), a maker of cases for consumer electronics
  • Speck (surname)

Speck is an English word meaning "fat" or "blubber", attested since the early 17th century. This word also exists in German with the same meaning, but it normally refers to pork fat with or without some meat in it. Normal English use refers to German culinary uses, particularly of smoked or pickled pork belly.

In Italy and parts of the English-speaking culinary world, the term "speck" refers to Italian speck, a type of prosciutto, rather than German speck, which is identical to the Italian " lardo". The term "speck" became part of popular parlance only in the eighteenth century and replaced the older term "bachen", a cognate of " bacon".

Speck (printing)

Speck (figuratively for German speck or bacon) in the German typesetting tradition describes a manuscript that is printed with low effort. The term is still used in electronic publishing.

Speck (surname)

Speck is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Christa Speck (born 1942), German model and actress
  • Cliff Speck (born 1956), American baseball player
  • Dutch Speck (1886–1952), American football player
  • Frank Speck (1881–1950), American anthropologist
  • Fred Speck (1947–2011), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Hermann Ritter von Speck (1888–1940), German Wehrmacht general
  • Jefferson W. Speck (1916–1993), American businessman and politician
  • Leslie Speck, American college football coach
  • Mike Speck, American Gospel musician and ordained minister
  • Oskar Speck (1907–1955), German canoeist and adventurer
  • Richard Speck (1941–1991), American mass murderer
  • Robert Speck (handball) (1909–?), Romanian field handball player
  • Robert Speck (politician) (1915-1972), first and only mayor of the Town of Mississauga, Ontario
  • Ross Speck (1927-2015), psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and family therapist
  • Sam Speck, American politician
  • Wieland Speck (born 1951), German film director
  • Will Speck, American film director
  • W. A. Speck (born 1938), British historian
  • Zsa Zsa Speck (real name: Perry Pandrea), American keyboardist

Fictional characters:

  • Tommy Speck, fictional character
Speck (cipher)

Speck is a family of lightweight block ciphers publicly released by the National Security Agency (NSA) in June 2013. Speck has been optimized for performance in software implementations, while its sister algorithm, Simon, has been optimized for hardware implementations. Speck is an add-rotate-xor (ARX) cipher.

Speck supports a variety of block and key sizes. A block is always two words, but the words may be 16, 24, 32, 48 or 64 bits in size. The corresponding key is 2, 3 or 4 words. The round function consists of two rotations, adding the right word to the left word, xoring the key into the left word, then and xoring the left word to the right word. The number of rounds depends on the parameters selected, as follows:

Block size (bits)

Key size (bits)


2×16 = 32

4×16 = 64


2×24 = 48

3×24 = 72


4×24 = 96


2×32 = 64

3×32 = 96


4×32 = 128


2×48 = 96

2×48 = 96


3×48 = 144


2×64 = 128

2×64 = 128


3×64 = 192


4×64 = 256


The key schedule uses the same round function as the main block cipher.

Usage examples of "speck".

By the time Yama had waded to shore, the coracle was already far off, a black speck on the shining plane of the river, making a long, curved path toward a raft of banyan islands far from shore.

When he used his magnifier screen, he saw the specks of Raptors circling and darting in the distance.

If an alien probe is there, could we spot it among the countless dots and specks that will represent stars, micrometeorites, planetoids, photographic plate flaws, and dust?

Haeckel represents the aggregate of a million moneras visibly covering the sea-bottom, but germinated from one invisible speck.

Since the theory unifies the laws of the large and of the small, laws that govern physics out to the farthest reaches of the cosmos and down to the smallest speck of matter, there are many avenues by which one can approach the subject.

True, the girl from Physiotherapy had bags under her eyes and Harry was a little pale, but Mr Grenfell looked exactly as he always did, not a well groomed hair out of place, not a speck on his well cut suit, and since his eyelids drooped over his eyes anyway, it was impossible to tell if he was tired or not.

It directs five-point-three teratogauss of magnetic force on that tiny little speck of praseodymium there.

The ghosts of a thousand potential worlds radiated out from the speck of praseodymium as it plunged down through absolute zero and into the nameless realms beyond.

The Agent saw the frantic, running specks which were men and women in panic, he saw a sheet of flame in the street, and his lips compressed grimly as he realized that this was the burning body of Ranny Coulter.

Let us not turn then against it and deny its existence with too many brazen instruments, but remember these are but a means, and that the vast lens of the Californian refractor is but glass--it is the infinite speck upon which the ray of light will fall that is the one great fact of the universe.

Lieutenant Speck lunged forward from his place behind Caffey in the snowcat, pointing ahead.

I would survive this ice in my sporangial casing, as a windblown speck of lichen will last out decades to spread at last into devouring life.

The air to sunward was full of wheeling birds and cursing riders, a great column of specks curving high into the sky with its base close above the fields and terraces on the sunward side of Rakarr.

The little group of black specks with the flag of white had been swept out of existence, and the stillness of the evening, so it seemed to me, had scarcely been broken.

The speck of frozen urine currently thawing against his thigh was reminder enough of that.