• Having two or more different colors.

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Example Sentences

“The horse had a lovely pied coat even though his mother’s coat was a solid brown.”

“My favorite pied scarf contains a number of gorgeous colors.”

“The pied kingfisher is a bird with black and white markings on its feathers.”

Word Origin

Middle English, late 14th century

Why this word?

“Pied” was originally used in Middle English to refer to something that was “black and white like a magpie.” The word is formed from a combination of the Latin “pica” (“magpie”) and the Old English suffix “-ede.” In the legend of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” a piper wearing a pied coat is hired to lure the overflowing rat population away from the German town of Hamelin using his magical pipe. When the citizens refuse to pay his fee, he strikes back by luring the town’s children away instead. Various iterations of this tale appear in the writings of the Brothers Grimm and Robert Browning.

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