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
8 : spotlight
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

spot

adjective

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

Australia and India have clinched the top two spots in the tournament's semi-finals based on their success in the group stage, though their finishing order will not be clear until after this weekend's games. Kevin Dotson, CNN, "The Women's World Cup final isn't the only big game this weekend. Keep your eyes on Wimbledon, the Tour De France and MLB," 5 July 2019 Eventually, the Pacers reached out to offer Gant a spot in their rookie camp. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "JaKeenan Gant hopes to showcase talent with Pacers after up and down college career," 4 July 2019 In the final two sets, neither player had a break point, but Nadal prevailed in both tiebreakers to earn a spot in the third round. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Rafael Nadal Doesn’t Fall for Nick Kyrgios’s Bag of Tricks," 4 July 2019 Production out of that spot has been disappointing. Julian Benbow, BostonGlobe.com, "Nathan Eovaldi eager to help overworked Red Sox pitching staff," 3 July 2019 San Francisco will be allowed to activate a 26th player for the double-header and Triple-A pitchers Dereck Rodrígeuz and Andrew Suárez are both candidates for that spot. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Why the Giants sent Tyler Beede to the minors after the best start of his career," 3 July 2019 The women, Osaka and Muguruza, have had more success: four Grand Slam titles among them, and weeks at the top spot in the rankings. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "A Round of Upsets at Wimbledon, and the Big Story of Tennis," 3 July 2019 To clinch a spot in the third debate in September, candidates need at least 130,000 individual donors and 2% support in multiple polls. Dallas News, "Mischievous Republicans donate to keep love guru Marianne Williamson alive in Democratic primary," 3 July 2019 Chevron took the top spot in profit growth in the refining sector in 2018, with a sharp jump of more than 61% to $14.8 billion. Fortune, "Chevron," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As the officer was writing citations for the suspects, the officer spotted suspected marijuana in the first car. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Burglars target jewelry, cash in home break-in: Westlake Police Blotter," 6 July 2019 Laurie Robbins, 45, was allegedly driving a 2017 Jeep Wrangler northbound when a State Police aircraft that was monitoring traffic spotted the vehicle weaving in and out of traffic around 9:20 a.m., State Police said in a press release. Adam Sennott, BostonGlobe.com, "Worcester woman arrested on drunken driving charge in N.H. after allegedly speeding," 6 July 2019 During the cold war, America raced to launch satellites that could spot a hurricane veering toward the Gulf of Mexico—or spy on Soviet weapons build-ups. The Economist, "How to predict the weather," 6 July 2019 So that's four pieces right there, let alone the development of Yante Maten and even the spotting of Derrick Jones Jr., Justise Winslow and even Duncan Robinson at power forward. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Is Heat faith justifiably placed in Bam Adebayo?," 5 July 2019 Keane went under the water and spotted one of the crustaceans, but couldn’t quite get it. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Teen shark attack victim throws out first pitch at Padres game," 5 July 2019 Much was made about Kyrgios being spotted at a local watering hole Wednesday evening. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Larrikin or liability: Is Nick Kyrgios good for tennis?," 5 July 2019 Officers spotted the taillights of a vehicle about 150 feet down an embankment, Lee said. Mark Gomez, The Mercury News, "San Jose: Man dies on birthday in suspected DUI crash on Mt. Hamilton," 5 July 2019 Marine biologist Greg Skomal tagged three of the great whites spotted off Cape Cod. Don Dahler, CBS News, "11 great white sharks spotted off Cape Cod ahead of July 4th holiday," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Deklan Wynne has been good in spurts at left back, but the team almost certainly wants Sam Vines to take over that spot long term, and a lot of teams around the globe could use a good left back. Mark Goodman, The Denver Post, "Backpass: The Rapids are going to “take the L” against LAFC," 28 June 2019 When the Orioles called up 23-year-old righthander Luis Ortiz to make a spot start Friday, manager Brandon Hyde all but conceded the game could be a crapshoot. Julian Benbow, BostonGlobe.com, "Homer-happy Red Sox blast Baltimore," 15 June 2019 Jose Suarez will make another spot start Sunday in the series finale against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium. Maria Torres, latimes.com, "Jose Suarez will make another spot start for Angels against Mariners," 8 June 2019 On Wednesday, Teigen posted a hilarious shot of her eldest child recreating her famous awkward grimace from the Globes, and the impression is completely spot-on. Glamour, "Chrissy Teigen's Daughter Just Recreated One of Her Funniest Memes," 8 May 2019 The necklace or bracelet that looks spot-on with jeans and a t-shirt can also be layered to ratchet up the fashion feeling for a more formal occasion. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "How to Make Your Boring LBD Feel New Again," 16 Nov. 2018 Wright could still receive a spot start opportunity in Monday’s home doubleheader against the Yankees. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Early Orioles notes: Mike Wright on the right path as reliever; Mancini gets day off," 7 July 2018 Gray whales make their appearance closest to shore from March through June, and pass again in October and November—during these periods, volunteers along the trail help visitors spot whales, and answer questions. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Days On California's Russian River and Sonoma Coast," 16 Apr. 2018 Americans are required to keep detailed records of their Cuba travels, including receipts for five years, and the administration has suggested there could be spot checks for compliance when Americans arrive back home. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "American visitors aren’t flying in droves to Cuba now. Tour operators: Please come back," 30 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for spot

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spot

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

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More Definitions for spot

spot

noun

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

spot

adjective

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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More from Merriam-Webster on spot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spot

Spanish Central: Translation of spot

Nglish: Translation of spot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spot for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spot

Comments on spot

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