from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of spot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In botany, same as necrosis, 2.
  • n. The tinting of photographs.
  • n. The process of separating a train into sections.

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

  • n. the act of spotting or staining something
  • n. the act of detecting something; catching sight of something


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A pair of binoculars are a great help in spotting squirrels especially in late winter when no foliage exists.

    I've always heard to sit tight when squirrel hunting.

  • With Buffy the Vampire Slayer having been off the air for over five years now, who are our children turning to for advice in spotting bloodsuckers?

    IN THE WORLD OF MOVIES: NEWS FOR NOVEMBER 12TH | Open Society Book Club Discussions and Reviews

  • If you have (1) a knowledge of the substance and (2) know how to think logically then issue spotting is automatic.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Common Law School Exam Mistake

  • But having tried to put this into practice has given me a real advantage in spotting the co-operative people I want to be/work/interact with.

    » On Asking for What You Want

  • Though it was initially unclear whether he got the first down as officials were late in spotting the ball, the Bills immediately sent out their field goal unit.

  • We traveled here during the dry season, when animal spotting is easiest.

    Boing Boing

  • Where I come from, spotting is just what you said it was: something between a girl and her panties.


  • Agreed: spotting is only for those most unfortunate events.


  • Funny, when I first read this post I assumed that rain spotting simply meant there would be lots of spots of rain — i.e. it would rain in different spots.


  • Perhaps this a US geographical thing, but we (in the southeast) use drizzle or mist – and spotting is most definitely a cycle related word.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Later that evening, I chortled at the local TV news where the inclement weather had dislodged the imminent elections from their rightful opening headline slot. ‘Rain is forecast for Friday, Saturday and beyond,’ announced the newsreader in her very best harbinger of doom voice. In the background a “super HD” map of the Bay area showed precisely where the rain would fall, the camera zooming in to close on the handful of named streets which would bear the brunt. The heaviest rain was forecast for Saturday. But tomorrow, the newsreader announced with gravitas, there would be widespread spotting.

    Here was my first encounter with the ‘two nations divided by a common language’ phenomenon. ‘Spotting’ in British English, my American friends, is something which may occur when a lady is in the middle of her cycle and it’s a private matter concerning only the said lady and her underwear. Light rain, meanwhile, is commonly referred to in the UK as ‘drizzle’ or ‘spitting’, and is not usually thought worthy of a five minute slot on the regional news.
    Umbrella, Petite Anglaise (blog), Nov. 7, 2008.

    4.I’ve lived in America all my life and have never heard “spotting” used to describe the weather. I, too, have only used/heard in reference to that lovely monthly gift. I’m sure this made for an interesting (and perhaps scary) expectation of the trip!

    BTW – San Fran is one of my favorite places – spotting or sunny! Love the pics

    Id.: Comment by juli — November 7, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

    January 14, 2016