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

But since 2012, that number is up by 9 percent — a bright spot for a sector that has lost 19 percent of its overall enrollment during that time. New York Times, "Bulletin Board," 8 June 2019 Anchorage’s landfill has a drop-off spot for household hazardous waste such as paint and chemical cleaners. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "How to recycle like a pro in Anchorage," 7 June 2019 House Bill 1298 punishes those lowly gasoline-sucking drivers who find the only open parking space a charging spot for the elite. Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, "Caldara: In Colorado you’re still paying for rich folks to buy a luxury second car," 7 June 2019 The first major pickleball tournament to take place in the Chicago area will be held in Naperville this summer, making the city a destination spot for players and fans of the sport. Taylor Hartz, Naperville Sun, "Naperville tapped for first pickleball tourney in Chicago area," 7 June 2019 Non-members can book a spot for $3,500 for domestic flights and $4,000 for international flights. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "Inside The High-End Secret Terminal Celebs Are Using At LAX," 6 June 2019 Approximately 14 miles west of town is Grand Lake St. Marys State Park, Ohio's largest inland lake and the perfect spot for cooling off during summer months. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2019," 6 June 2019 He was kept in a cell about the size of a parking spot for 23 hours a day and allowed one hour in a small exercise yard. Emily Lane, nola.com, "Fox Searchlight planning film based on New Orleans man’s decades in solitary at Angola: report," 6 June 2019 The number of at-bats with runners in those spots for San Diego, though, is fewest in the game by a wide margin. (k.c. Alfred/the San Diego Union-tribune), San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: ‘Home Run Derby’ Padres starved for situational hitting," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On Thursday, she was spotted on her way to the airport wearing an interesting post-breakup ensemble: a khaki jumpsuit by Burberry paired with black boots and jet black sunglasses. Mekita Rivas, refinery29.com, "Irina Shayk's First Post-Breakup Look Is The Ultimate Power Move," 8 June 2019 On Monday, Indian Air Force pilots spotted five bodies by air that authorities believe were some of the missing climbers, since no other expeditions were underway. Washington Post, "Famed Indian climber nearly died on peak where team was lost," 7 June 2019 According to the report given to the weather service a tornado was spotted on the ground at 4:07 p.m. by a few people along County Road 214 north of U.S. Highway 80. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "‘Conditional’ threat for isolated tornadoes overnight in central Alabama," 6 June 2019 Lithgow is Ed Hemsler, who lives in a lonely house on a lonely street in what appears to be a small Midwestern town but is apparently Syracuse, according to the area code spotted on one of shop’s windows. Detroit Free Press, "Don’t see ‘The Tomorrow Man’ today, or ever," 6 June 2019 The next day, a Boca Raton police lieutenant spotted the Nissan on a flatbed tow truck that was driving along Spanish River Boulevard. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Fatal hit-run investigation leads Boca Raton police to South Dakota," 5 June 2019 And just like Ribera, some of the WWE talent has even been spotted on television while wearing the Jimmy’s t-shirts. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The Week in Wrestling: Becky Lynch Not Satisfied With Just One Main Event," 5 June 2019 Prince Harry's been out doing lots of this kind of work lately, and was even spotted on a commercial flight (!) headed home this week. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Amazing Husband Prince Harry Makes a Sweet Gesture to Support Meghan Markle's Charities," 30 May 2019 An unusually dangerous storm system produced dozens of tornadoes that were either seen or spotted on radar across the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, but officials reported relatively limited damage. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Storm System Sets Off Dozens of Tornadoes but Leaves Modest Damage," 21 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

11 Jun 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

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