spot

noun
\ ˈspät How to pronounce spot (audio) \

Essential Meaning of spot

1 : a small area of a surface that is different from other areas 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.
2 : a small amount of a substance that is on something The tablecloth had a couple of spots. There were mud spots on the back of his pants. rust spots on the metal
3 : a small mark or lump on your skin, on the surface of a plant, etc. I noticed some red spots on my arms. spots of rot on the leaf

Full 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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sitting at Venice's lowest spot, St. Mark's Basilica offers a unique position to monitor the impact of rising seas on the city. Colleen Barry, ajc, 20 Oct. 2021 Sitting at Venice’s lowest spot, St. Mark’s Basilica offers a unique position to monitor the impact of rising seas on the city. Colleen Barry, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Oct. 2021 Friends met with Zeng at a breakfast spot each Saturday morning to discuss classes, movies and basketball. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Oct. 2021 This marked the second time Cohen and West had met at the spot this month. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 19 Oct. 2021 John Schumann, meanwhile, puts Milwaukee at the top spot and Brooklyn at No. 2. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Oct. 2021 The Kings would then slide Barton in at the wing, freeing up both Barnes to stay at the big forward spot, and the guard trio to take the vast majority of the available guard minutes. Morten Jensen, Forbes, 17 Oct. 2021 The addition of Elfrid Payton gives the Suns quality depth at that spot. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 17 Oct. 2021 Stealing minutes with Markkanen at that unconventional spot creates more available playing time at power forward for Love. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 16 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ballhandlers benefit from his screening on handoffs and distribution to spot-up shooters. J. Michael, orlandosentinel.com, 18 Oct. 2021 Shamet visualizes himself being a playmaker for one unit, a spot-up shooter and working off screens for a different unit. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 30 Sep. 2021 The Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue's matchmaking senses are spot-on because Trixie quickly became a member of Keller's family. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 27 Sep. 2021 Horton-Tucker has big steps to make on defense and as a spot-up shooter and a decision-maker, but his ceiling still feels pretty high and far away. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2021 Run the plays hard in transition, getting his teammates the ball in stride and scoring mostly opportunistically in transition or as a spot-up shooter in half-court settings. Morten Jensen, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 The first-draft mockup from California Closets designer Angela Beardon was spot-on: alternately open and closed storage throughout the room styled in the brand’s ‘natural’ finish. Margaux Lushing, House Beautiful, 2 Sep. 2021 Among the highlights was Ezell’s spot-on locker-room impersonation of the coach, complete with frantic hand gestures, old-school West Virginia aphorisms and not-so-gentle goading of his players to get into better physical condition. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 27 Aug. 2021 Its background color, if not a spot-on match, is at least a close approximation to Tiffany’s iconic robin’s-egg blue. Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective It is paved and offers state-of-the-art keycode entry that allows the site to keep track of who enters and leaves and provide information to multi-spot clients looking to track one of their vehicles. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, 28 Apr. 2021 The biggest factor in the Mavs’ multi-spot improvement: winning more games in clutch time. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, 22 Dec. 2020 As you spot squirrels in your backyard, keep track of them to earn badges. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 May 2020 The unit body is steel and features continuous welds, not spot welds. Michael Jordan, Car and Driver, 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, 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, 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, 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, 24 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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Dictionary Entries Near spot

sposh

spot

spot anthracnose

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Statistics for spot

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spot. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for spot

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 Go to Birmingham—1963
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

spot

intransitive verb
spotted; spotting

Medical Definition of spot (Entry 2 of 2)

: to experience abnormal and sporadic bleeding in small amounts from the uterus

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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