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

To skip that part and go straight to the review is to be a disgusting agent of destruction, a parasite, a disgrace to criticism and a blight on the art of writing. Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle, "What are the most overrated movies?," 6 June 2018 Faubourg is the kind of successful small business that proves wrong the blight-or-boutique hotel dichotomy expounded by some supporters of the Sun Yard. Anne Gisleson, Curbed, "Bywater faces its future," 23 May 2018 But it was abandoned after a banking crisis and in the past two decades of socialist rule has become a symbol of urban blight, having been occupied by squatters until 2015. Scott Smith, The Seattle Times, "Strong quake rocks Venezuela but little damage reported," 21 Aug. 2018 Some play down the dangers of this practice, but identity politics is a blight on our democracy. Orrin Hatch, WSJ, "Identity Politics Threatens the American Experiment," 18 May 2018 Kaine is considered a relatively scandal-free candidate, but there was one potential blight on his record. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Tim Kaine's Son Was Arrested After Allegedly Disrupting a Pro-Trump Rally," 8 Mar. 2017 The rise and fall of the 111-year-old rowhouse, traced through interviews, deeds, court records and inspection reports, reveals the story of Baltimore, and its blight — how good homes come to ruin, and how one turned deadly. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Collapse: The rise and deadly fall of a Baltimore rowhouse," 12 July 2018 County Commissioner Larry Johnson, who lived in the complex years ago before its decline, said the progress is an example of more to come in DeKalb, where officials are getting aggressive against blight. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Good things coming for notorious, crime-infested DeKalb complex?," 7 July 2018 All parking would be placed underground, avoiding a repeat of the monster-sized garage bases that blight so many recently constructed residential high-rises. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "New plans for Spire site: Arresting towers, solid urban design and room for improvement," 16 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Minneapolis began to spruce up its river shorelines and adjacent neighborhoods earlier than other cities, drawing residents and development to a part of town once blighted by industry and railroad tracks, parking lots and pollution. Cecilie Rohwedder, WSJ, "The Latest Housing Hotspot: Downtown and by the River," 6 Dec. 2018 London, Dublin and Brussels agree that maintaining a free and frictionless border is essential to preserve peace in a region that for decades was blighted by violence. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Brexit Plan Puts May’s Alliance With Northern Ireland Party to the Test," 14 Nov. 2018 Furthermore, despite his stunning brace in United's thrilling 3-2 win over Man City on Saturday, Paul Pogba's future also remains in doubt, given the series of lacklustre performances that have blighted his season. SI.com, "Outrageous Report Claims Man Utd Will Swap Two Star Players to Sign PSG Talisman Neymar This Summer," 8 Apr. 2018 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

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

9 Dec 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

More from Merriam-Webster on blight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for blight

Spanish Central: Translation of blight

Nglish: Translation of blight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blight for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about blight

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

having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!