blight

1 of 2

noun

1
botany
a
: a disease or injury of plants marked by the formation of lesions, withering, and death of parts (such as leaves and tubers)
potato blight
b
: an organism (such as an insect or a fungus) that causes blight
2
: something that frustrates plans or hopes
the blight of poverty
an abandoned factory that was a blight on the neighborhood
3
: something that impairs or destroys
… censorship … has brought under its blight Ireland's greatest poets, dramatists, and scholars. Paul Blanshard
4
: a deteriorated condition
urban blight

blight

2 of 2

verb

blighted; blighting; blights

transitive verb

1
botany : to affect (a plant) with a disease or injury marked by the formation of lesions, withering, and death of parts (such as leaves and tubers) : to affect with blight (see blight entry 1 sense 1)
The apple trees were blighted by fungus.
2
: to impair the quality or effect of
the condition that has blighted his son's life Patricia Guthrie

intransitive verb

botany : to suffer from or become affected with blight
The potatoes blighted.

Example Sentences

Noun the city's spreading urban blight the expanding urban sprawl is a blight on the countryside Verb Builders blighted the land with malls and parking lots.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
As of last month, the city employed eight inspectors, according to Judith Rothchild, the city’s blight remediation director. Deidre Montague, Hartford Courant, 12 Oct. 2022 Of that, $400 million was set aside to address budget shortfalls, while the remaining $426 million was designated for community investments, such employment and job creation, blight remediation and home repairs. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 21 July 2022 Birmingham City Councilor Latonya Tate answered the call, directing 311 and the city’s Department of Transportation to the blight. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, 5 July 2022 The key is to lift the plant off the ground and encourage air circulation; the closer to the soil, the more likely the plant will be exposed to blight, rot, bugs—and, um, in NYC, rats. Natasha Li Pickowicz, Bon Appétit, 3 Nov. 2022 Cunningham had seven of Detroit's 14 turnovers, a significant blight on his otherwise good night. Detroit Free Press, 27 Oct. 2022 Since its establishment in 1979, the Khomeinist regime has been a curse on Iran and a blight on the world. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 20 Oct. 2022 This jack-o'-lantern carved from a pumpkin with a preexisting fungal disease, southern blight, is showing symptoms of soft rot, especially around the nose and eye. Matt Kasson, CBS News, 10 Oct. 2022 The Rockets' two titles, in 1994 and 1995, are today looked back upon by the greater basketball commentariat as a fluke, a blip in history, even a blight upon the game. Rahat Huq, Chron, 7 Oct. 2022
Verb
But now many murals have vanished, apparently after an attempt to preserve the artworks resulted in many being destroyed, sparking a dispute that continues to blight the tourist attraction. Gladys Tsai, CNN, 19 Oct. 2022 The killing of Freya has polarized Oslo and threatens to blight the image of a country more commonly associated with diplomatic good deeds than mob-like hits. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2022 The passenger caps have already prompted carriers to cancel more flights and halt some bookings—setbacks that are now set to blight the normally busy school breaks in the fall. Benjamin Katz, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2022 And these avatars certainly capture ABBA’s original exuberance, minus the Jurassic tendencies that tend to blight decades-after-the-fact reunions in the real world. Mark Sutherland, Variety, 27 May 2022 Baltimore Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy praised the mayor for his commitment to blight prevention and pledged to keep working diligently to address the nearly 15,000 vacant houses in Baltimore. Lea Skene, Baltimore Sun, 12 May 2022 Challenges are based on worries that the vast arrays of turbines will interfere with fishing, obstruct naval exercises and blight views from summer houses. New York Times, 22 Mar. 2022 In the clinical world, consistency is king; gaps in data can blight the reliability of any takeaways, or beleaguer analysis. Grace Browne, Wired, 14 Mar. 2022 Doping allegations continue to blight Russia’s race-walking program—17 of its athletes have been banned for doping in the past few years—even as athletes from the program have dominated the world championships and Olympics. The Editors, Outside Online, 15 Jan. 2015 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

of obscure origin

Verb

verbal derivative of blight entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1695, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blight was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near blight

Cite this Entry

“Blight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blight. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

blight 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a disease of plants marked by withering and death of parts (as leaves)
b
: an organism that causes blight
2
a
: something that harms or destroys
b
: a damaged or worsened condition
urban blight

blight

2 of 2

verb

1
: to affect with blight
2
: to damage or worsen the quality or condition of
slums and blighted areas
3
: to suffer from or become affected with blight

Medical Definition

blight

noun

Australian
: an inflammation of the eye in which the eyelids discharge a thick mucous substance that often seals them up for days and minute granular pustules develop inside the lid

called also sandy blight

More from Merriam-Webster on blight

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