blight

noun
\ˈblīt \

Definition of blight 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 botany

a : a disease or injury of plants marked by the formation of lesions, withering, and death of parts (such as leaves and tubers) potato blight

b : an organism (such as an insect or a fungus) that causes blight

2 : something that frustrates plans or hopes the blight of poverty an abandoned factory that was a blight on the neighborhood

3 : something that impairs or destroys … censorship … has brought under its blight Ireland's greatest poets, dramatists, and scholars.— Paul Blanshard

4 : a deteriorated condition urban blight

blight

verb
blighted; blighting; blights

Definition of blight (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 botany : to affect (a plant) with a disease or injury marked by the formation of lesions, withering, and death of parts (such as leaves and tubers) : to affect with blight (see blight entry 1 sense 1) The apple trees were blighted by fungus.

2 : to impair the quality or effect of the condition that has blighted his son's life— Patricia Guthrie

intransitive verb

botany : to suffer from or become affected with blight The potatoes blighted.

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of blight in a Sentence

Noun

the city's spreading urban blight the expanding urban sprawl is a blight on the countryside

Verb

Builders blighted the land with malls and parking lots.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The show craftily skewers the system that lured its contestants into debt, intermixing questions about Beyoncé and condoms with earnest facts about the moral blight of for-profit colleges. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Win a Game Show, Pay Off Your Student Debt," 12 July 2018 The blight of undesired software and prompts is all around us. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Isn’t it time we declared our independence from bloatware?," 4 July 2018 Instead, in the wake of first lady Lady Bird Johnson’s beautification efforts, state officials saw it as a way to fight the visual blight of poles and wires. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wine Country fires: PG&E often diverts money for undergrounding power lines," 12 Mar. 2018 The life of a family farmer is never easy: Financial insecurity is the norm, smaller farms have to compete with deep-pocketed agribusiness giants, and months of toil can be wiped away by a crop blight or a freak weather event. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, "Ralph Paige, Champion of Black Farmers, Dies at 74," 6 July 2018 The Fitzgerald revitalization project is crucial to Duggan’s plan to address the abandonment and blight that continues to hinder Detroit’s neighborhoods. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's showcase neighborhood project falls a year behind schedule," 3 July 2018 In his speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016, Trump painted a dark picture of a nation beset by a modern plague of crime and terrorism in the cities, and economic blight in its industrial powerhouse. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "What the royal family and Donald Trump both understand," 21 May 2018 The report notes that huge strides toward reducing blight have been made in recent years. Katherine Sayre, NOLA.com, "Cantrell should increase short-term rental tax, focus on affordable housing, committee says," 4 May 2018 Cuyler-Brownsville, crippled by desperation and blight, soon became consumed by gang violence. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The Spy Who Came Home," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Two serious knee injuries have blighted his time in Italy. Ciaran Fahey, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup Countdown: Lewandowski gives Poland hope in World Cup return," 10 June 2018 Yet opinion polls have shown support for his government plummeting as the Catalan independence crisis and ongoing corruption scandals continue to blight his People’s Party. Esteban Duarte, Bloomberg.com, "Rajoy Refuses to Be Written Off as Spanish Rivals Seek Ouster," 26 May 2018 Those changes were a big upgrade from the surface parking lots that used to blight the ballpark’s western flank. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "New hotel stylishly complements Wrigley Field, but can’t match its authenticity," 6 Apr. 2018 The positive vibes weren’t washed away by the Sweden defeat, but those nagging fears that have blighted past campaigns were allowed to creep in again. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Mexico choked and now its World Cup run looks doomed," 27 June 2018 Dembele only joined the Catalans last summer to replace Neymar but injuries have blighted his big money move and left him able to start just three games in all competitions this season. SI.com, "Report Suggests Lionel Messi Will Be 'Happy' to See Teammate Leave Barcelona as Arsenal Prepare Bid," 17 Feb. 2018 But cryptocurrencies aren’t widely used and are blighted by scammers, thieves, and poor security. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How a Startup Is Using the Blockchain to Protect Your Privacy," 11 July 2018 Since his €105m move from Borussia Dortmund, Dembélé has struggled for form in his first season at the Nou Camp, which has been blighted with injuries. SI.com, "Spanish Report Claims Liverpool Are Planning Sensational Bids for Two Barcelona Stars," 1 June 2018 This is by far the longest a tournament has stretched without being blighted by those double zeroes on the scoreboard when the final whistle blew. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Sorry soccer haters, but this World Cup is absolutely awesome," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of blight

Noun

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1695, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for blight

Noun

of obscure origin

Verb

verbal derivative of blight entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blight

Dictionary Entries near blight

blickey

Blida

Bligh

blight

blightbird

blight canker

blighted

Statistics for blight

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blight

The first known use of blight was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blight

blight

noun

English Language Learners Definition of blight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a disease that makes plants dry up and die

: something that causes harm or damage like a disease

: a damaged condition

blight

verb

English Language Learners Definition of blight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to damage (plants) with a disease

: to damage (a thing or place)

blight

noun
\ˈblīt \

Kids Definition of blight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a disease that makes parts of plants dry up and die

blight

verb
blighted; blighting

Kids Definition of blight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to injure or destroy by or as if by a blight Huge signs blighted the landscape.

blight

noun
\ˈblīt \

Medical Definition of blight 

Australian

: an inflammation of the eye in which the eyelids discharge a thick mucous substance that often seals them up for days and minute granular pustules develop inside the lid

called also sandy blight

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on blight

What made you want to look up blight? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!