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

  • n. A place of relatively small and definite limits.
  • n. A mark on a surface differing sharply in color from its surroundings.
  • n. A blemish, mark, or pimple on the skin.
  • n. A stain or blot.
  • n. Games A mark or pip on a playing card; a spade, club, diamond, or heart.
  • n. Games A playing card with a specified number of such marks on it indicating its value.
  • n. Informal A piece of paper money worth a specified number of dollars.
  • n. A location; a locale.
  • n. A point of interest: There are a lot of spots to visit in the old city.
  • n. A position or an item in an ordered arrangement.
  • n. Informal A situation, especially a troublesome one.
  • n. A flaw in one's reputation or character.
  • n. A short presentation or commercial on television or radio between major programs: a news spot.
  • n. Informal A spotlight.
  • n. A small croaker (Leiostomus xanthurus) of North American Atlantic waters, having a dark mark above each pectoral fin and valued as a food and sport fish.
  • n. Chiefly British A small amount; a bit.
  • transitive v. To cause a spot or spots to appear on, especially:
  • transitive v. To soil with spots.
  • transitive v. To decorate with spots; dot.
  • transitive v. To harm; besmirch.
  • transitive v. To place in a particular location; situate precisely.
  • transitive v. To detect or discern, especially visually; spy.
  • transitive v. To remove spots from, as in a laundry.
  • transitive v. Sports To yield a favorable scoring margin to: spotted their opponents 11 points.
  • transitive v. Sports To act as a spotter for (a gymnast, for example).
  • transitive v. Informal To lend: Can you spot me $25 until payday?
  • intransitive v. To become marked with spots.
  • intransitive v. To cause a discoloration or make a stain.
  • intransitive v. To locate targets from the air during combat or training missions.
  • adj. Made, paid, or delivered immediately: a spot sale.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a market in which payment or delivery is immediate: the spot market in oil.
  • adj. Involving random or selective instances or actions: a spot investigation.
  • adj. Presented between major radio or television programs: a spot announcement.
  • idiom in spots Now and then; here and there; occasionally.
  • idiom on the spot Without delay; at once.
  • idiom on the spot At the scene of action.
  • idiom on the spot Under pressure or attention; in a pressed position.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A round or irregular patch on the surface of a thing having a different color, texture etc. and generally round in shape.
  • n. A stain or disfiguring mark.
  • n. A pimple, papule or pustule.
  • n. A small, unspecified amount or quantity.
  • n. A bill of five-dollar or ten-dollar denomination in dollars.
  • n. A location or area.
  • n. A parking space.
  • n. An official determination of placement.
  • n. A bright lamp; a spotlight.
  • n. A brief advertisement or program segment on television.
  • n. Difficult situation; predicament
  • n. One who spots (supports or assists a maneuver, or is prepared to assist if safety dictates); a spotter
  • n. penalty spot
  • n. The act of spotting or noticing something.
  • v. To see, find; to pick out, notice, locate, distinguish or identify
  • v. To loan a small amount of money to someone.
  • v. To stain; to leave a spot.
  • v. To remove, or attempt to remove, a stain.
  • v. To support or assist a maneuver, or to be prepared to assist if safety dictates.
  • v. To keep the head and eyes pointing in a single direction while turning.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Lit., being on the spot, or place
  • n. A mark on a substance or body made by foreign matter; a blot; a place discolored.
  • n. A stain on character or reputation; something that soils purity; disgrace; reproach; fault; blemish.
  • n. A small part of a different color from the main part, or from the ground upon which it is.
  • n. A small extent of space; a place; any particular place.
  • n. A variety of the common domestic pigeon, so called from a spot on its head just above its beak.
  • n.
  • n. A sciænoid food fish (Liostomus xanthurus) of the Atlantic coast of the United States. It has a black spot behind the shoulders and fifteen oblique dark bars on the sides. Called also goody, Lafayette, masooka, and old wife.
  • n. The southern redfish, or red horse, which has a spot on each side at the base of the tail. See Redfish.
  • n. Commodities, as merchandise and cotton, sold for immediate delivery.
  • intransitive v. To become stained with spots.
  • transitive v. To make visible marks upon with some foreign matter; to discolor in or with spots; to stain; to cover with spots or figures
  • transitive v. To mark or note so as to insure recognition; to recognize; to detect.
  • transitive v. To stain; to blemish; to taint; to disgrace; to tarnish, as reputation; to asperse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a spot on; blot; stain; discolor or defile in a spot or spots.
  • To mar the perfection or moral purity of; blemish; tarnish; sully.
  • To mark or cover with spots; mark in spots: dot.
  • Specifically To put a patch or patches on (the face) by way of ornament.
  • To mark as with a spot; especially, to note as of suspicious or doubtful character. Tuft's Glossary of Thieves' Jargon (1798).
  • To note or recognize by some peculiarity; catch with the eye; detect; come upon; find out.
  • In horse-racing, to indicate, give a hint as to, or name: as, to spot the winner of a future race.
  • To place upon a spot; specifically, in billiards, to place (a ball) on one of the spots or marks on the table.
  • To make a spot; cause a stain, discoloration, orshadow.
  • To be subject to spots; he easily spotted: as, a fabric that spots when exposed to damp.
  • n. A small piece of ground or inclosure; a plot: applied to land or crops.
  • Made, paid, delivered, or the like, on the spot, or at once: as, spot wheat.
  • In New Zealand, to buy up (choice spots of land containing water, etc.), ruining the neighboring property. Called peacock in Australia.
  • See blaze, 2, 3.
  • n. A stain made by foreign matter; a blot; a speck.
  • n. A blemish; a flaw, a fault; especially, a stain upon moral purity.
  • n. A bit of surface differing in some way from the rest, as in color, material, or finish; a dot; a small mark.
  • n. A pustule or other eruptive mark, as in a rash.
  • n. One of the pips on a playing-card; hence, in composition with a numeral, the card having pips to the number expressed: as, to play a ten-spot
  • n. One of two marked points on a billiard-table, on which balls are placed, or from which they are to be played.
  • n. A dark place on the disk or face of the sun or of a planet. See sun-spot.
  • n. In zaöl., a color-mark of rounded or indeterminate form, but not very long for its width, and thus not forming a streak or stripe; a blotch; a macula: usually said of markings larger or than those called dots or points. An eyed spot forms an ocellus (which see).
  • n. A small extent of space; a particular locality; a place; a site.
  • n. A piece; a bit; hence, something very minute; a particle; an atom.
  • n. A breed of domestic pigeons having a spot on the head above the beak.
  • n. Asciænoid fish, Liostomus xanthurus (obliquus), also called goody, lafayette, oldwife, and pig-fish. See cut under lafayette.
  • n. The southern redfish or drum, Sciænops ocellatus. See cut under redfish.
  • n. A small fishing-ground.
  • n. At the precise place and time; at the place and time at which something specified occurred: as, a picture of a skirmish made on the spot.

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

  • v. make a spot or mark onto
  • v. mark with a spot or spots so as to allow easy recognition
  • n. a business establishment for entertainment
  • n. a slight attack of illness
  • n. a point located with respect to surface features of some region
  • n. a small contrasting part of something
  • v. mar or impair with a flaw
  • v. become spotted
  • n. a short section or illustration (as between radio or tv programs or in a magazine) that is often used for advertising
  • v. catch sight of
  • v. detect with the senses
  • n. a small piece or quantity of something
  • n. a playing card with a specified number of pips on it to indicate its value
  • n. an outstanding characteristic
  • n. a lamp that produces a strong beam of light to illuminate a restricted area; used to focus attention of a stage performer
  • n. an act that brings discredit to the person who does it
  • n. a blemish made by dirt
  • n. a mark on a die or on a playing card (shape depending on the suit)
  • n. a job in an organization
  • n. a section of an entertainment that is assigned to a specific performer or performance


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

Middle English, from Old English.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English spot or spotte, cognate with Middle Dutch spotte ("spot speck"), Low German spot, and Old Norse spotti ("small piece"). Also Old English splott ("spot, plot of land").



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  • A useful term for 'a bit of', as in, "I'll have a spot of orange juice, please?"

    August 21, 2008