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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from spot

Verb

spottable \ ˈspä-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce spot (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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Washington earned a playoff spot last season, but their quarterback position is very unsettled going into 2021. oregonlive, "Marcus Mariota attracts interest from the New England Patriots and Washington Football Team: Reports," 15 Feb. 2021 Reagan’s Keith Davis averaged 21.0 points in three games, including a 25-point effort in a 55-47 win over MacArthur that clinched a playoff spot. David Hinojosa, San Antonio Express-News, "Boys basketball: Bandera's DeMarchi named E-N Player of the Week," 8 Feb. 2021 As other teams fight for a playoff spot, the Dodgers should have the luxury of a rested rotation lined up for the postseason with the ability to drop three quality pitchers into the bullpen. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The case for Dustin Pedroia in the Hall of Fame: His backers better prepare for WAR," 6 Feb. 2021 And for a starting goalie that has never been a No. 1 in the NHL (like Khudobin), having a backup to give him a rest will be critical as the Stars try to lock down a playoff spot with Bishop out until March. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Jake Oettinger’s first NHL start in Stars’ win over Red Wings is just the beginning," 28 Jan. 2021 But in his team’s final game of the season vs. the Bills, which Miami had to win to get a playoff spot, Tagovailoa threw for 361 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions in a 56-26 loss. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Several Dolphins players have concerns about Tua Tagovailoa’s future after team missed playoffs: NFL news roundup," 13 Jan. 2021 To compete for a playoff spot, or at the very least a position in the play-in tournament, the Pelicans will have to develop chemistry with minimal practice time. Christian Clark | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Ahead of brutal road stretch, Pelicans need to discover chemistry quickly," 12 Jan. 2021 The Washington Football Team’s offense was having a hard time nailing down the victory needed to earn a playoff spot in the final game of the NFL’s 2020 regular season on Sunday night. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "State NFL roundup: Jeremy Reaves gets first pick," 4 Jan. 2021 Washington blew its first shot to clinch a playoff spot by losing at home to Carolina. Barry Wilner, ajc, "NFL races go down to the wire in AFC South and NFC East," 2 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Police are asking residents with information or who spot suspicious behavior to call their department at 440-871-3311. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Screaming woman arrested for drunken driving: Westlake Police Blotter," 30 Jan. 2021 These types of competitive lists have birthed trends like endless Big Years, in which birders constantly compete to see who can spot the most species in a year. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "The Dark Side of Birding," 16 Dec. 2020 These types of competitive lists have birthed trends like endless Big Years, in which birders constantly compete to see who can spot the most species in a year. Jessie Williamson, Outside Online, "How eBird Changed Birding Forever," 4 Dec. 2020 Adding a wing to the 2021 class seemed to be a priority for the Wolverines, and Houstan's commitment solidifies that spot for at least one season. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Caleb Houstan should make immediate impact for Michigan basketball next season," 30 Oct. 2020 The rest of the lush land is crisscrossed with hiking trails and birdwatching posts where binocular-toting visitors can spot the rare yellow-eared parrot or one of the other 540 species of birds found in this part of the country. Jordan T. Jones, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Colombia, Eco-Tourism Is the Way Forward," 28 Sep. 2020 The sheriff’s office is encouraging people who spot the creature to call 911. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Tiger search underway after sighting in Tennessee industrial park," 10 Sep. 2020 Those who spot an injured or sick manatee in Florida can report those animals to the state’s FWC at 888-404-3922. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "International Manatee Day: How to help Florida’s beloved sea cows," 7 Sep. 2020 Momayez’s goal is to integrate streams of data in a computer system that can spot problems that might escape periodic inspections. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Catastrophic failures raise alarm about dams containing muddy mine wastes," 20 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The biggest factor in the Mavs’ multi-spot improvement: winning more games in clutch time. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Dallas Mavericks 2020-21 predictions: How real is the Luka Doncic MVP buzz?," 22 Dec. 2020 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spot

Time Traveler for spot

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for spot

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spot. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on spot

What made you want to look up spot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!