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

Batch Winery, known for its bubblies, offers sweeping views of the valley and vines below, while the road just in front of Jurassic Ridge and Mud Brick vineyards is the perfect spot to capture Auckland’s skyline. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Auckland, New Zealand," 11 Feb. 2019 Panama is a tropical spot, but the water in Gulf of Panama, on the country’s central Pacific coast, can get pretty chilly. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The skulls of ancient pearl divers come with abnormal ear canal bone growths," 28 Dec. 2018 The New York Times reported that the bar was a popular hangout spot for survivors of the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest country-music festival mass shooting that occurred in 2017. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Thousand Oaks Shooting Victims Are Being Remembered by Friends and Family," 9 Nov. 2018 Having officially rebranded and re-opened this fall, the nhow Marseille at Palm Beach was once a popular spot among locals, famed for the freshwater of the Roucas Blanc spring that runs through the building. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "At the Nhow Marseille Hotel in France, Italian Furniture and Local Grit Lead the Design," 22 Oct. 2018 That orange roof, the yellow building, that has been a bright spot in all of this misery. Fox News, "Rep. Devin Nunes: Need to declassify Russia documents before election," 16 Sep. 2018 Prosecutors used different excerpts to show a dark spot was visible. Michael Tarm, The Seattle Times, "Legal hurdles would look familiar in any new R. Kelly case," 20 Feb. 2019 Another bright spot for AstraZeneca last year was the Chinese market, where sales increased 25% to $3.8 billion. Denise Roland, WSJ, "AstraZeneca Turns a Corner After a Decade of Struggles," 14 Feb. 2019 This spot is perfect for a quick, no-fuss snack or even hotel-room delivery after a night out. Julia Gall, Marie Claire, "Visiting Durham, N.C.? Here's Where to Stay, Eat, and Drink," 8 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unfortunately, tattoo detectives hoping to solve the mysterious meaning of this ink will be unable to spot anything in the photo. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Reportedly Got Matching Tattoos," 2 Jan. 2019 Radical identification To spot the radicals, all participants were given a set of questions about their beliefs on a variety of topics, designed to get at things like their dogmatism, intolerance, and authoritarian tendencies. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Political radicals don’t evaluate their own errors—about anything," 21 Dec. 2018 Students prepping for college are warned that universities will be watching their social media accounts in order to spot excellent community behavior and social media usage, as well as to pinpoint any red flags. Aja Romano, Vox, "How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook," 20 Dec. 2018 As Mark and Sheryl made clear to Congress, the company was too slow to spot Russian interference, and too slow to take action. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook’s board is throwing public support behind Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg — who are on Facebook’s board," 15 Nov. 2018 British newspaper The Sun was the first to spot the NSFW trend, which involves painting your derrière to look like a Jack-O-Lantern — complete with a creepy-cute grin across the crack (yes, seriously). Zoe Weiner, Allure, "People Are Decorating Their Butts to Look Like Glittery Pumpkins for Halloween," 2 Oct. 2018 Shepherd has a flair to her game, and is easy to spot on the golf course. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018 On Tuesday, a jogger spotted a body off Route 119 east in Rindge and notified police. Alejandro Serrano, BostonGlobe.com, "Missing Westminster man found dead in NH," 14 July 2018 The invasive plant, which was first spotted in the U.S. in 1917, produces toxic sap that can cause severe irritation when skin is exposed to sunlight. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "A Virginia Teen Suffered Third Degree Burns After Encountering a Giant Hogweed Plant," 13 July 2018

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 Mar 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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