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[blot-er] /ˈblɒt ər/
a piece of blotting paper used to absorb excess ink, to protect a desk top, etc.
a book in which transactions or events, as sales or arrests, are recorded as they occur:
a police blotter.
Machinery. a soft washer of blotting paper or felt for cushioning a brittle object against shock or pressure or for increasing the friction or contact area between two surfaces.
Origin of blotter
1585-95; 1887 for def 2; blot1 + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for blotter
Historical Examples
  • Then he let the pen fall on the blotter, for he had remembered the day.

  • Gertrude glanced up at him, then at her father, and then at the blotter on the desk.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She took up a pen at this, and opened the cash-book upon the blotter.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • What I really wanted from her was an inspection of the book and blotter, and a deduction from it.

  • A blotter which has one end in water soon becomes wet all over.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • It come one day when I was busy drawin' pictures of Piddie on the blotter.

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • In that case my days are numbered, as the calendar said to the blotter.

    Frank Merriwell's Races

    Burt L. Standish
  • Yet it was not solid, because Willie could see the blotter through it.

    The Secret Wireless

    Lewis E. Theiss
  • For a moment he gave his entire attention to the blotter on the desk.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
  • The Sergeant pulled the blotter toward him mechanically and dipped his pen.

British Dictionary definitions for blotter


something used to absorb excess ink or other liquid, esp a sheet of blotting paper with a firm backing
(US) a daily record of events, such as arrests, in a police station (esp in the phrase police blotter)
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 blotter

1590s, "thing for drying wet spots," agent noun from blot (v.). Meaning "bad writer" is from c.1600. Sense of "day book" is from 1670s, and the word was applied early 19c. to rough drafts, scrap books, notebooks, and draft account books. Hence the police jargon sense "arrest record sheet," recorded from 1887.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for blotter



  1. The daily record of arrests at a police station (1880s+ Police)
  2. (also blotter acid) A sheet of absorbent paper to which liquid LSD has been applied and then allowed to dry (1970s+ Narcotics)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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