spot

noun
\ ˈspät \

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 \ 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

Big-City Response If the Hudson was the best, if improbable, place for an emergency landing, Sullenberger couldn't have picked a better spot on the river to land. Allen St. John, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Right: Revisiting Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and the Miracle on the Hudson," 15 Jan. 2019 Here's to Union's spot-on clap-back talents, all the cute and comfortable-looking dresses a closet can hold, and Internet trolls knowing better in 2019. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "Gabrielle Union Just Clapped Back at a Troll Telling Her to 'Dress Her Age'," 29 Dec. 2018 Ellen DeGeneres took home the second spot on the Forbes list, with an income of $87,500,000. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Judge Judy Sheindlin Is the Highest-Paid Host on Television," 28 Nov. 2018 Windows open to provide air flow, and vintage sconces have been paired with more modern LED lights to provide a spot-on ambiance. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Glamorous vintage camper is your midcentury dream home on wheels," 18 Oct. 2018 Several girls who were promised a spot on the runway were denied visas. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Victoria Secret Show Is Returning to New York City," 17 Sep. 2018 Steam’s 30 percent revenue cut has long been a sore spot with publishers, prompting companies like EA and Epic to make their own storefronts. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Robot Cache, a Steam rival that lets you sell your 'used' games and mine cryptocoins, opens signups," 17 Aug. 2018 Extra capacity and new technology to reroute packages around problem spots created fewer backlogs than prior years. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Railroads Getting Crude; Truckers Rating Sites; Supply Chains on Ice," 1 Feb. 2019 Level any high spots and fill all depressions with topsoil. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Plant Grass Seed for a New Lawn," 23 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The suspension came only weeks after U.S. regulators halted flights at Newark Liberty International Airport after a drone was spotted near another New Jersey airport. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Drone Scare Grounds Flights at Dubai Airport," 15 Feb. 2019 The crew celebrating Harry's big day had some fun at a karaoke club, where Kiko was spotted singing a tune. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Harry Styles’s Rumored Girlfriend Kiko Mizuhara?," 5 Feb. 2019 As spotted in the bedroom John designed, the rattan carries some of that Palm Beach beachy texture with a warm wooden color that echoes the four-poster bed and orange tones of the walls and bedding. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "The Element Your Room Is Missing? A Rattan Screen," 31 Jan. 2019 Gorgeous built-in storage—both concealed cabinets and open shelving—can be spotted throughout. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Airy midcentury home updated for modern living asks $3.95M," 9 Aug. 2018 Princess Beatrice has been spotted with the Dubai carry-all on at least two occasions. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle, Camilla Parker Bowles, and More Royal Family Members Have a New Favorite Bag Label," 2 Feb. 2019 Since taking a two month hiatus, Selena has been spotted all around Los Angeles wearing various affordable looks, including a head-to-toe Puma outfit from her SG X Puma collection. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Is Actually Glowing in This Affordable Slip," 9 Jan. 2019 Drones have been spotted near flights at New York LaGuardia and Dubai. Stu Woo, WSJ, "Departures Resume From London Heathrow Following Drone Sighting," 8 Jan. 2019 Since then, the real life Riverdale couple haven't walked down a red carpet together, but have been spotted together at several award shows. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Lili Reinhart Just Walked Down the Golden Globes Red Carpet Without Cole Sprouse," 7 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The futures slid even as spot gas for next-day delivery surged to 60 times the going rate, underscoring how rallies during the peak heating-demand season have been cut short by flip-flopping weather outlooks and record production. Naureen S. Malik, Houston Chronicle, "Will expected drop in inventories support gas prices?," 5 Jan. 2018 No wonder David's impression of the Vermont senator and presidential candidate on NBC's Saturday Night Live during the 2016 election campaign was so spot-on. Gary Levin, USA TODAY, "Larry David and Bernie Sanders: More than an impression; they're relatives!," 4 Oct. 2017 Usher was JPMorgan’s chief currency dealer in London; Ramchandani was Citigroup Inc.’s former head of G-10 spot currency trading and Ashton was the head of global voice spot trading at Barclays. Suzi Ring, Bloomberg.com, "British Currency Traders Fly to New York to Face Rigging Trial," 17 July 2017 The banner offensive showing made things easier on spot starter Brent Suter, who held the Orioles at bay with his best outing in the majors. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Orioles 1: Early offensive barrage backs strong spot start by Brent Suter," 3 July 2017

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

19 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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