I am looking for a word describing a patchy appearance in something like hair, felt, grass, velvet etc- specifically surfaces, materials or areas comprised of a totality of much smaller, and usually upwardly angled fibers, hairs, blades and so forth, where there are areas of visible wear, damage or interruption. I've gone through the thesaurus ouroborus multiple times and cannot find the word I'm looking for. Any help would be appreciated!

  • 1
    I would say trampled if it was grass, but perhaps frayed or mottled?
    – Smock
    Mar 26 '19 at 9:42
  • 4
    Why did you reject "worn"? Is it too generic?
    – Pam
    Mar 26 '19 at 10:17
  • 1
    'Worn' for pool table felt is apropos.
    – lbf
    Mar 26 '19 at 12:42
  • 1
    Look in a thesaurus for 'worn' if it is not good enough for you. Then come back and ask if a word you find works for a pool table.
    – Mitch
    Mar 26 '19 at 13:03
  • 1
    What exactly is wrong with patchy? (You used it in your question, and it seems to fit.) Mar 27 '19 at 1:44


having the nap worn off so that the thread shows


  • I'm not sure that that is what happens to a worn [down, out] pool table cloth. Unless you use it beyond the stage of being very worn. But then it wouldn't just look worn.
    – Řídící
    Mar 26 '19 at 18:01

An animal with patchy fur may have mange and can be described as mangy, but mangy may also mean:

having many worn or bare spots a mangy rug

The word implies that the animal or item was once whole but has become patchy or scruffy-looking through disease or disrepair.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.