\ ˈblīt How to pronounce blight (audio) \

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


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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Early blight affects the leaves and stems only, so the tomato fruits will be healthy and delicious. Susan Brownstein, cleveland, 21 July 2022 As world wars have raged and epidemics have ravaged, as Detroit has become renowned for stoves and then cars and then blight, the American elm's base has spread and its crown has risen. Neal Rubin, Detroit Free Press, 7 July 2022 Fire blight resistant cultivars are the best way to prevent the disease. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 June 2022 For at least 15 years, the three-story home at 103 Earle St. was an eyesore – a rotted blight in the neighborhood that sits in the city’s northeast end. Ted Glanzer, Hartford Courant, 14 May 2022 Beginning in the 1960s, socio-economic and other factors helped usher in urban flight, an uptick in crime, and blight. Donna M. Owens, Baltimore Sun, 12 May 2022 Pockets of redevelopment provide homes for middle-class Black families amid a landscape that’s softened considerably from the hard concrete blight of public housing. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 12 June 2022 In the mid-1970s, the blight of New York’s downtown scene — the delirious cross-pollination of daring music, visual art and fashion — birthed musicians like Patti Smith and artists like Keith Haring. New York Times, 1 June 2022 Your leaves could be sun burned, or could have tomato blight or tomato wilt. oregonlive, 21 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The passenger caps have already prompted carriers to cancel more flights and halt some bookings—setbacks that are now set to blight the normally busy school breaks in the fall. Benjamin Katz, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2022 And these avatars certainly capture ABBA’s original exuberance, minus the Jurassic tendencies that tend to blight decades-after-the-fact reunions in the real world. Mark Sutherland, Variety, 27 May 2022 Baltimore Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy praised the mayor for his commitment to blight prevention and pledged to keep working diligently to address the nearly 15,000 vacant houses in Baltimore. Lea Skene, Baltimore Sun, 12 May 2022 Challenges are based on worries that the vast arrays of turbines will interfere with fishing, obstruct naval exercises and blight views from summer houses. New York Times, 22 Mar. 2022 In the clinical world, consistency is king; gaps in data can blight the reliability of any takeaways, or beleaguer analysis. Grace Browne, Wired, 14 Mar. 2022 Doping allegations continue to blight Russia’s race-walking program—17 of its athletes have been banned for doping in the past few years—even as athletes from the program have dominated the world championships and Olympics. The Editors, Outside Online, 15 Jan. 2015 Tent encampments still blight cities, however, and many voters equate them with crime. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2022 In my experience, few things blight a career as much as a failed software implementation. Mark Robinson, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of blight


1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1695, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for blight


of obscure origin


verbal derivative of blight entry 1

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Blight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for blight


\ ˈblīt How to pronounce blight (audio) \

Kids Definition of blight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


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.


\ ˈblīt How to pronounce blight (audio) \

Medical Definition of blight

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on blight

Nglish: Translation of blight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blight for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about blight


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