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[blot] /blɒt/
a spot or stain, especially of ink on paper.
a blemish on a person's character or reputation:
He had been haunted by a blot on his past.
Archaic. an erasure or obliteration, as in a writing.
verb (used with object), blotted, blotting.
to spot, stain, soil, or the like.
to darken; make dim; obscure or eclipse (usually followed by out):
We watched as the moon blotted out the sun.
to dry with absorbent paper or the like:
to blot the wet pane.
to remove with absorbent paper or the like.
verb (used without object), blotted, blotting.
to make a blot; spread ink, dye, etc., in a stain:
The more slowly I write, the more this pen blots.
to become blotted or stained:
This paper blots too easily.
Chemistry. to transfer an array of separated components of a mixture to a chemically treated paper for analysis.
Verb phrases
blot out,
  1. to make indistinguishable; obliterate:
    to blot out a name from the record.
  2. to wipe out completely; destroy:
    Whole cities were blotted out by bombs.
Origin of blot1
1275-1325; (noun) Middle English blotte, akin to Old Norse blettr blot, spot, stain; (v.) late Middle English blotten, derivative of the noun
Related forms
blotless, adjective
blottingly, adverb
blotty, adjective
unblotted, adjective
1. blotch, ink stain. 2. stain, taint, dishonor, disgrace, spot. 4. sully, disfigure. 5. obliterate, efface, erase, expunge. 7. absorb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for blot out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She wanted to cover her eyes, to blot out the sun, to run to some friendly darkness to make her moan.

    Katrine Elinor Macartney Lane
  • He shut his eyes, as if by shutting them he could blot out the pictures of his imagination.

    The Northern Iron George A. Birmingham
  • In other words we must blot out transgressions by specially meritorious deeds in order thus to escape eternal punishment.

  • But there it was, staring him in the face, and he could not blot out the memory of it.

  • A good plan, Jack,” said Armstrong, “but what if it should come cloudy and blot out the stars?

    Blue Lights R.M. Ballantyne
  • There was a futile longing in his soul for oblivion to blot out his misery.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • To forget, to forget, that was all that they wanted—to blot out all the past.

    Out To Win Coningsby Dawson
  • He was the last sacrifice, to blot out the sins of all who have faith in him.

British Dictionary definitions for blot out


a stain or spot of ink, paint, dirt, etc
something that spoils or detracts from the beauty or worth of something
a blemish or stain on one's character or reputation
verb blots, blotting, blotted
(of ink, dye, etc) to form spots or blobs on (a material) or (of a person) to cause such spots or blobs to form on (a material)
(informal) blot one's copybook, to spoil one's reputation by making a mistake, offending against social customs, etc
(intransitive) to stain or become stained or spotted
(transitive) to cause a blemish in or on; disgrace
to soak up (excess ink, etc) by using blotting paper or some other absorbent material
(of blotting paper or some other absorbent material) to absorb (excess ink, etc)
(transitive) often foll by out
  1. to darken or hide completely; obscure; obliterate
  2. to destroy; annihilate
Word Origin
C14: probably of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch bluysterblister


(backgammon) a man exposed by being placed alone on a point and therefore able to be taken by the other player
(archaic) a weak spot
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Middle Dutch bloot poor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blot out



late 14c., originally "blemish," perhaps from Old Norse blettr "blot, stain," or from Old French blot, variant of bloc "block," or blestre "blister, lump, clump of earth."


early 15c., "to make blots;" mid-15c. "to blot out, obliterate" (words), from blot (n.). Related: Blotted; blotting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blot out in Medicine

blot (blŏt)
The Northern, Southern, or Western blot analyses.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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blot out in the Bible

a stain or reproach (Job 31:7; Prov. 9:7). To blot out sin is to forgive it (Ps. 51:1, 9; Isa. 44:22; Acts 3:19). Christ's blotting out the handwriting of ordinances was his fulfilling the law in our behalf (Col. 2:14).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with blot out

blot out

Obliterate, wipe out of existence or memory, as in At least one Indian nation was blotted out as the pioneers moved west, or The trauma of the accident blotted out all her memory of recent events. This idiom, first recorded in 1516, uses the verb to blot in the sense of making something illegible by spotting or staining it with ink. The New Testament has it (Acts 3:19): “Repent ye ... that your sins may be blotted out.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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