Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A spot or a stain caused by a discoloring substance: a blot of paint.
  • n. A stain on one's character or reputation; a disgrace. See Synonyms at stain.
  • n. The Northern, Southern, or Western blot analyses.
  • transitive v. To spot or stain, as with a discoloring substance.
  • transitive v. To bring moral disgrace to.
  • transitive v. To obliterate (writing, for example).
  • transitive v. To make obscure; hide: clouds blotting out the moon.
  • transitive v. To destroy utterly; annihilate: War blotted out their traditional way of life.
  • transitive v. To soak up or dry with absorbent material.
  • intransitive v. To spill or spread in a spot or stain.
  • intransitive v. To become blotted, soaked up, or absorbed.
  • n. Games An exposed piece in backgammon.
  • n. Archaic A weak point.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A blemish, spot or stain made by a coloured substance.
  • n. A stain on someone's reputation or character; a disgrace.
  • n. The Southern blot analysis (and derived Northern and Western) analytical techniques.
  • n. an exposed piece in backgammon.
  • v. to cause a blot (on something) by spilling a coloured substance.
  • v. to soak up, or absorb liquid.
  • v. to hide, obscure or obliterate something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To spot, stain, or bespatter, as with ink.
  • transitive v. To impair; to damage; to mar; to soil.
  • transitive v. To stain with infamy; to disgrace.
  • transitive v. To obliterate, as writing with ink; to cancel; to efface; -- generally with out. Often figuratively.
  • transitive v. To obscure; to eclipse; to shadow.
  • transitive v. To dry, as writing, with blotting paper.
  • intransitive v. To take a blot.
  • n. A spot or stain, as of ink on paper; a blur.
  • n. An obliteration of something written or printed; an erasure.
  • n. A spot on reputation; a stain; a disgrace; a reproach; a blemish.
  • n.
  • n. An exposure of a single man to be taken up.
  • n. A single man left on a point, exposed to be taken up.
  • n. A weak point; a failing; an exposed point or mark.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A spot or stain, as of ink on paper; a blur; a disfiguring stain or mark: as, “one universal blot,”
  • n. A scoring out; an erasure or obliteration, as in a writing.
  • n. A spot upon character or reputation; a moral stain; a disgrace; a reproach; a blemish.
  • n. Imputed disgrace or stain; defamation: as, to cast a blot upon one's character.
  • To spot, stain, or bespatter, as with ink, mud, or any discoloring matter.
  • Figuratively, to stain as with disgrace or infamy; tarnish; disgrace; disfigure.
  • To obliterate so as to render invisible or not distinguishable, as writing or letters with ink: generally with out: as, to blot out a word or a sentence.
  • Hence To efface; cause to be unseen or forgotten; destroy; annihilate: followed by out: as, to blot out a crime, or the remembrance of anything.
  • To darken or obscure; eclipse.
  • To dry by means of blotting-paper or the like.
  • To obliterate something written.
  • To become blotted or stained: as, this paper blots easily.
  • n. In backgammon: A single exposed piece which is liable to be forfeited or taken up.
  • n. The exposure of a piece in this way.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. dry (ink) with blotting paper
  • n. a blemish made by dirt
  • v. make a spot or mark onto
  • n. an act that brings discredit to the person who does it

Etymologies

Middle English.
Possibly from Low German blat, naked, unprotected.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Originally "blemish," perhaps from Old Norse blettr, or from Old French bloche ("clod of earth") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A regular salt blot from the farm store is about $6 and the Deer Cane was $7.99.

    What do you guys think about Deer Cane or any other store-bought deer attractant.

  • Fortunately my younger brother was able to remove this blot from the family escutcheon by joining the Canadian Army in 1941.

    Remembering the Battle of the Atlantic

  • It will be a relief to the whole legal profession that at last what the Master of the Rolls called a blot on our jurisprudence has been removed.

    The Monetary Muddle

  • The distance was great, but something familiar in the lines of the figure -- when he presently got near enough to see that the blot was a pony and rider -- made his blood leap with eager anticipation; and he spoke sharply to Patches, sending him forward at a brisk lope.

    The Range Boss

  • Two pleaded guilty, and the third was convicted after trial, in a case that The Republican newspaper of Springfield described as a "blot on the whole city."

    NYT > Home Page

  • As the first African American person to attain the highest office in the United States, President Obama cannot afford to have ANYBODY with a smudge on their record (never mind a "blot").

    Clinton again rips into vetting process

  • At the hearing, the governor called the convictions a "blot" on the record of an accomplished artist for "something he may or may not have done."

    Doors' Jim Morrison pardoned for indecent exposure

  • If that seems a harsh conclusion, consider the one public "blot" we already know about concerning Gen. McChrystal's war record.

    McChrystal's Rise: More Secrets, Less Daylight

  • You have said you regret the "blot" on your record caused by your parroting spurious intelligence at the U.N. to justify war on Iraq.

    Out Damn Blot: A Letter to Colin Powell

  • Out Damn Blot: A Letter to Colin Powell yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Out Damn Blot: A Letter to Colin Powell'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, in an open letter to Colin Powell, offers an opportunity to wipe the "blot" off his record.'

    Out Damn Blot: A Letter to Colin Powell

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