spot

noun
\ ˈspät How to pronounce spot (audio) \

Definition of spot

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a taint on character or reputation : fault the only spot on the family name
2a : a small area visibly different (as in color, finish, or material) from the surrounding area
b(1) : an area marred or marked (as by dirt)
(2) : a circumscribed surface lesion of disease (such as measles) or decay spots of rot rust spots on a leaf
c : a conventionalized design used on playing cards to distinguish the suits and indicate values
3 : an object having a specified number of spots or a specified numeral on its surface
4 : a small quantity or amount : bit
5a : a particular place, area, or part
b : a small extent of space
6 plural usually spot : a small croaker (Leiostomus xanthurus) of the Atlantic coast with a black spot behind the opercula
7a : a particular position (as in an organization or a hierarchy)
b : a place or appearance on an entertainment program
9 : a position usually of difficulty or embarrassment
10 : a brief announcement or advertisement broadcast between scheduled radio or television programs
11 : a brief segment or report on a broadcast especially of news
on the spot
1 : at once : immediately
2 : at the place of action
3a : in a responsible or accountable position
b : in a difficult or trying situation

spot

verb
spotted; spotting

Definition of spot (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to stain the character or reputation of : disgrace
2 : to mark in or with a spot : stain The snow was spotted with blood. His pants were spotted with mud.
3 : to locate or identify by a spot
4a : to single out : identify especially : to note as a known criminal or a suspicious person
b : detect, notice spot a mistake spotted a deer in the woods
c(1) : to locate accurately spot an enemy position
(2) : to cause to strike accurately spot the battery's fire
d : to watch or assist (someone) during athletic competition or exercise (as for gymnastics or weight lifting) especially to prevent injury She's the darling of the weight room wherever she works out, spotting guys twice her size.— Rick Reilly
5a : to lie at intervals in or over : stud small boats spotting the harbor
b : to place at intervals or in a desired spot spot field telephones
c : to fix in or as if in the beam of a spotlight
d : to schedule in a particular spot or at a particular time spotted the main act at 9 p.m.
e football : to put (the football) at the appropriate place on the field in preparation for the next play The official spotted the ball at the 10-yard line.
6 : to remove a spot from
7a : to give a specified advantage to (an opponent) : to allow as a handicap (see handicap entry 1 sense 1b) She spotted me five points and still beat me easily. spot him two strokes a hole in golf
b informal : to lend (someone) a usually small amount of money Can you spot me five bucks?

intransitive verb

1 : to become stained or discolored in spots Fungus caused the leaves to spot.
2 : to cause a spot a detergent that always spots
3 : to act as a spotter especially : to locate targets
4 : to experience abnormal and sporadic bleeding in small amounts from the uterus

Definition of spot (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : being, originating, or done on the spot or in or for a particular spot spot coverage of the news
b : available for immediate delivery after sale spot commodities
c(1) : paid out upon delivery spot cash
(2) : involving immediate cash payment a spot transaction
d(1) : broadcast between scheduled programs spot announcements
(2) : originating in a local station for a national advertiser
e : performing occasionally when needed a spot starter
2 : made at random or restricted to a few places or instances a spot check also : selected at random or as a sample

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Other Words from spot

Verb

spottable \ ˈspä-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce spottable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of spot in a Sentence

Noun The wood still has some rough spots. The chair's original paint is still visible in spots. He fell through a weak spot in the ice. The tablecloth had a couple of spots. There were mud spots on the back of his pants. rust spots on the metal I noticed some red spots on my arms. spots of rot on the leaf a teenager with spots on his face This looks like a good spot for a picnic. Verb She spotted a deer in the woods. The band's lead singer was recently spotted with a well-known actress. They spotted us five points, and we still lost. I'm a little short of cash. Can you spot me five bucks? The official spotted the ball at the 10-yard line. Adjective the difference between futures and spot commodities the spot price of wheat
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joe says: This is a tough spot for Wisconsin, which might get caught looking past Michigan to undefeated Northwestern. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Picking games a masquerade during pandemic," 12 Nov. 2020 Uber's Eats food delivery business has been a bright spot for the company during a rough 2020, and has been growing rapidly. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "It's a big day for Alibaba. You wouldn't know from its stock," 11 Nov. 2020 The bar was a meeting spot for many friend groups, couples and comic book clubs. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "A bar 'for the nerds, gamers, geeks': Bonus Round closes doors due to COVID-19 pandemic," 11 Nov. 2020 Trading was a key bright spot for U.S. and European banks in the third quarter, though less so for Credit Suisse. Francine Lacqua, Bloomberg.com, "Credit Suisse CEO Open to Deals as Bank Mergers Accelerate," 11 Nov. 2020 Highlands Castle is an ideal spot for a honeymoon, a vacation, birthday or anniversary celebration, proposal location, and more. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "This Medieval-Style Castle Airbnb Is Full of Secret Doors and Chambers," 10 Nov. 2020 The speeches took place at the Chase Center, an events center on the Christina River that had become a gathering spot for Biden supporters since Election Day. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Biden said he will work to 'restore the soul of this nation' in acceptance speech focused on unity," 7 Nov. 2020 Brundage, the agent in North County, said buyers are increasingly ready to make improvements to older properties if the home is the best spot for them. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trying to buy a home in San Diego? Experts say to do these things first," 6 Nov. 2020 Midway through what could be termed as a down season for Holy Cross (1-3), Johnson stands as a bright spot for the Tigers. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "Holy Cross wideout Jalen Johnson keeps making plays no matter how defenders cover him," 6 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Check out our list to find out which episodes to look back at to spot these guests. Mike Rose, cleveland, "15 celebrities who appeared on ‘Saved By the Bell’," 26 Nov. 2020 Consortium members said such cameras should be installed at all major airports to help spot infected travelers. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, "Here are all the ways airports are trying to make flying feel safe during the pandemic," 25 Nov. 2020 One is a mobile app called Fakey that helps users learn how to spot misinformation. Filippo Menczer, Scientific American, "Information Overload Helps Fake News Spread, and Social Media Knows It," 20 Nov. 2020 Sitting in the passenger seat of his pickup truck, Benecchi has used both thermal imaging and night vision scopes to spot Buddy emerging from deep woods. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "A police captain’s white whale: Buddy the Beefalo remains free despite best efforts," 20 Nov. 2020 Robin Rowe enjoys looking for wildlife from her home near Bee’s River Marsh in Eastham, Massachusetts, and was excited on Nov. 6 to spot what appeared to be an otter flopping in the water. NBC News, "You're gonna need a bigger marsh: Wayward blue shark spotted in Cape Cod," 20 Nov. 2020 The system uses radar to spot otherwise untraceable wakes left by subs underwater. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy's Next Mission: Detect Invisible Submarines From the Sky," 19 Nov. 2020 What's troubling is that these scams might not be simple to spot, as fraudsters increasingly figure out ways to target potential victims, copy enough logos and images to look legitimate and use social media to tempt shoppers. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "PlayStations and puppies top the holiday scam list," 18 Nov. 2020 Mandeville also teaches them to spot the species of birds in their trees -- from downy woodpeckers to western bluebirds. Amy Chillag, CNN, "Outdoor classrooms reenergize kids during the pandemic," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As you spot squirrels in your backyard, keep track of them to earn badges. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Running out of things to do with your kids? Here are 100 ideas for this summer.," 22 May 2020 The unit body is steel and features continuous welds, not spot welds. Michael Jordan, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1982 Maserati Quattroporte," 21 Apr. 2020 Images of the violence that broke out at that spot 55 years ago helped build support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "WATCH: Protesters turn their backs on Bloomberg during 'Bloody Sunday' anniversary church service," 1 Mar. 2020 Lefty Brian Johnson and righties Hector Velazquez, Ryan Weber, Josh Smith all received spot start opportunities while also spending time as long men. BostonGlobe.com, "How should Chaim Bloom approach changing the Red Sox bullpen? - The Boston Globe," 18 Nov. 2019 Unlike the top 50 free agents, players with high grades who were spot contributors — but played at least 100 snaps — were considered. Matt Goul, cleveland, "NFL free agency 2020: Linebackers to watch for the Browns," 8 Jan. 2020 In response, several organizations have started to try to provide some guidance, and new tools are emerging that help teachers spot signs of white nationalist ideology and at-risk students. Arkansas Online, "Extremists' views reach youths," 24 Nov. 2019 First timeout: Lost after challenging a fourth-down spot This one is an understandable use of a challenge, even though spot challenges are hard to overturn. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "The Cleveland Browns are wasting timeouts and it’s killing them: What we learned against Denver," 6 Nov. 2019 For Halloween this year, seven-year-old Logan Cain dressed up as the country music legend—and his impression was so spot-on that even Brooks himself took notice. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Garth Brooks Invites Youngster to His Knoxville Concert After Seeing His Amazing Halloween Costume," 1 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of spot

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b(2)

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for spot

Noun

Middle English; akin to Middle Dutch spotte stain, speck, Old Norse spotti small piece

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Time Traveler for spot

Time Traveler

The first known use of spot was before the 12th century

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Statistics for spot

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spot. Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for spot

spot

noun
How to pronounce spot (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spot

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a small area of a surface that is different from other areas
: a small amount of a substance that is on something
: a small mark or lump on your skin, on the surface of a plant, etc.

spot

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spot (Entry 2 of 3)

: to see or notice (someone or something that is difficult to see or find)
: to give (an opponent) a specified advantage at the beginning of a race, game, etc., in order to make a competition more even
informal : to lend (someone) a small amount of money

English Language Learners Definition of spot (Entry 3 of 3)

finance : relating to goods or shares that are paid for and delivered immediately instead of at a future time

spot

noun
\ ˈspät How to pronounce spot (audio) \

Kids Definition of spot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small part that is different from the main part He has a bald spot.
2 : an area soiled or marked (as by dirt)
3 : a particular place … he still remembered the spot where the poor thing was buried.— John Reynolds Gardiner, Stone Fox
4 : position entry 1 sense 3 “You go get in line and hold our spot …”— Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons
5 : fault sense 1 There's a spot on his good name.
on the spot
1 : right away She was hired on the spot.
2 : at the place of action The reporter was reporting on the spot.
3 : in difficulty or danger The question put me on the spot.

Other Words from spot

spotted \ ˈspä-​təd \ adjective

spot

verb
spotted; spotting

Kids Definition of spot (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to mark or be marked with spots
2 : to single out : identify I spotted him in the crowd.

spot

noun
\ ˈspät How to pronounce spot (audio) \

Medical Definition of spot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a circumscribed mark or area: as
a : a circumscribed surface lesion of disease (as measles)
b : a circumscribed abnormality in an organ seen by means of X-rays or an instrument X-rays revealed a spot on the lung
spotted; spotting

Medical Definition of spot (Entry 2 of 2)

: to experience abnormal and sporadic bleeding in small amounts from the uterus

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Comments on spot

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