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
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

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 The Bengals run defense remains a weak spot Stefanski will likely expose again. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "What’s next for the Cleveland Browns? Previewing the Cincinnati Bengals and how they match up," 19 Oct. 2020 The van-sized spacecraft is aiming for the relatively flat middle of a tennis court-sized crater named Nightingale — a spot comparable to a few parking places here on Earth. Marcia Dunn, USA TODAY, "First NASA spacecraft to collect asteroid samples prepares for treacherous descension," 19 Oct. 2020 In the third quarter, a bad spot cost New England a first down and forced a punt from its goal line. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "On Football: Packers, Browns, Patriots not so real," 19 Oct. 2020 At the conclusion of action on Sunday, Chicago Fire FC held the 10th and final spot in the east on 20 points (5-8-5). Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Late goal lifts D.C. United over FC Cincinnati," 19 Oct. 2020 The van-sized spacecraft is aiming for the relatively flat middle of a tennis court-sized crater named Nightingale — a spot comparable to a few parking places here on Earth. NBC News, "Touch-and-go: U.S. spacecraft sampling asteroid for return," 19 Oct. 2020 Van Ness is, naturally, being Van Ness throughout the spot. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "Simone Biles teams up with Jonathan Van Ness of 'Queer Eye' for new Uber Eats ad," 19 Oct. 2020 But as well as Happ performed and stabilized the leadoff spot, his late rebound after a miserable stretch in mid-September was nearly as impressive, considering many of his teammates struggled against power pitching. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Has time run out on Kyle Schwarber? Will Ian Happ move to left field? 6 questions about Chicago Cubs outfielders heading into 2021.," 19 Oct. 2020 The switch would be an effort to avoid contamination if the craft got close enough to Nightingale, the original landing spot, to potentially pollute it with thruster exhaust. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Is About to Touch an Asteroid," 19 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The restaurant has been an East Side go-to spot for special occasions, date nights, and business meetings for over 25 years. Joey Morona, cleveland, "12 must-try sushi rolls in Greater Cleveland," 20 Oct. 2020 All information can be tracked for human-resources purposes, compliant to HIPAA and state regulations, and can be analyzed to spot trends. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "Robot cooks and virtual kitchens: How the restaurant industry looks to technology for help," 19 Oct. 2020 But that three household definition does seem to help spot situations where coronavirus has gained the kind of foothold that is likely to generate large numbers of cases very quickly. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Surge in COVID-19 outbreaks signals drop in public precautions," 18 Oct. 2020 Recent research shows Cardiogram’s algorithms can spot diabetes through the wearables that are on the market today. David Nield, Popular Science, "Six health conditions a smartwatch can detect before you can," 18 Oct. 2020 The difficult part is that there's plenty of fake comics mixed in with the real ones, the covers bearing a slight difference that the players must spot. Kyle Fowle, EW.com, "Big Brother recap: One of the most important veto competitions of the year," 15 Oct. 2020 The default brush head has bright LED lights to help spot dirt and debris under furniture. Mark Brezinksi, USA TODAY, "The Tineco A10 Hero cordless vacuum is great for pet hair—and on sale for Prime Day 2020," 14 Oct. 2020 The bounciness that Partridge mentioned was spot-on. Mirel Zaman, refinery29.com, "I Tried Adidas’ New Ultra-Hyped Running Shoes, & They Solved My Running Rut," 7 Oct. 2020 Reporters, who are often the few people at the White House wearing masks, frequently spot groups of maskless staffers gathered together in close proximity. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, "Trump and His Aides Have Long Downplayed Importance of Face Masks, Distancing," 2 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 For Halloween this year, seven-year-old Logan Cain dressed up as the country music legend—and his impression was so spot-on that even Brooks himself took notice. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Garth Brooks Invites Youngster to His Knoxville Concert After Seeing His Amazing Halloween Costume," 1 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.

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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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Time Traveler for spot

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spot

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spot. Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for spot

spot

noun
How to pronounce spot (audio)

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

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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Comments on spot

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