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
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 9:42
  • 4
    Why did you reject "worn"? Is it too generic?
    – Pam
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 10:17
  • 1
    'Worn' for pool table felt is apropos.
    – lbf
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 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
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 13:03
  • 1
    What exactly is wrong with patchy? (You used it in your question, and it seems to fit.) Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 1:44

2 Answers 2



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
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 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 and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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