Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

lot

[lot]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. one of a set of objects, as straws or pebbles, drawn or thrown from a container to decide a question or choice by chance.
  2. the casting or drawing of such objects as a method of deciding something: to choose a person by lot.
  3. the decision or choice made by such a method.
  4. allotted share or portion: to receive one's lot of an inheritance.
  5. the portion in life assigned by fate or Providence; one's fate, fortune, or destiny: Her lot had not been a happy one.
  6. a distinct portion or piece of land: a building lot.
  7. a piece of land forming a part of a district, city, or other community.
  8. South Midland and Southern U.S. a farmyard or barnyard.
  9. a piece of land having the use specified by the attributive noun or adjective: a parking lot; a used-car lot.
  10. Movies. a motion-picture studio and its surrounding property.
  11. a distinct portion or parcel of anything, as of merchandise: The furniture was to be auctioned off in 20 lots.
  12. a number of things or persons collectively: There's one more, and that's the lot.
  13. kind of person; sort: He's a bad lot.
  14. Often lots. a great many or a great deal: a lot of books; lots of money.
  15. Chiefly British. a tax or duty.
Show More
verb (used with object), lot·ted, lot·ting.
  1. to divide or distribute by lot (sometimes followed by out): to lot furniture for sale; to lot out apples by the basketful.
  2. to assign to one as his or her lot; allot.
  3. to divide into lots, as land.
  4. Obsolete. to cast or draw lots for.
Show More
verb (used without object), lot·ted, lot·ting.
  1. to draw lots.
Show More
adverb
  1. Often lots. a great deal; greatly: Thanks a lot for the ride. I care lots about my family.
Show More
Idioms
  1. cast (in) one's lot with, to ally oneself with; share the life and fortunes of: She had cast her lot with the bohemian crowd.
  2. draw/cast lots, to settle a question by the use of lots: They drew lots to see who would go first.
Show More

Origin of lot

before 950; 1805–15 for def 14; Middle English; Old English hlot portion, choice, decision; cognate with Dutch lot, Old Norse hlutr; akin to Old English hlīet, German Los, Old Norse hlaut, Gothic hlauts lot
Related formslot·ter, nounin·ter·lot, verb (used with object) in·ter·lot·ted, in·ter·lot·ting.sub·lot, nounun·lot·ted, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
4. part, quota. 7. plot, parcel. 12. group, crowd, gang.

Lot1

[lot]
noun
  1. the nephew of Abraham. His wife was changed into a pillar of salt for looking back during their flight from Sodom. Gen. 13:1–12, 19.
Show More

Lot2

[lawt]
noun
  1. a river in S France, flowing W to the Garonne. 300 miles (480 km) long.
  2. a department in S France. 2018 sq. mi. (5225 sq. km). Capital: Cahors.
Show More

lot.

  1. (in prescriptions) a lotion.
Show More

Origin of lot.

From the Latin word lōtiō

a lot

[uh lot]
noun
  1. lot(def 14).
Show More
adverb
  1. lot(def 21).
Show More
Can be confuseda lot allot

Usage note

As a noun and adverb, a lot is frequently misspelled as alot.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lot

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Not a blamed thing but a lot of stubs in a check-book, and a little fat.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • It does not often fall to the lot of a boy to perform a deed so heroic.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He was not unfamiliar with the lot of one who dines with the learned Von Herzlich.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • In the end, then, you'll be out a lot of money even if you win.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I see; there must a lot of them have died here, but their souls didn't go far, did they now?

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for lot

lot

pronoun
  1. (functioning as singular or plural preceded by a) a great number or quantitya lot to do; a lot of people; a lot of trouble
Show More
noun
  1. a collection of objects, items, or peoplea nice lot of youngsters
  2. portion in life; destiny; fortuneit falls to my lot to be poor
  3. any object, such as a straw or slip of paper, drawn from others at random to make a selection or choice (esp in the phrase draw or cast lots)
  4. the use of lots in making a selection or choice (esp in the phrase by lot)
  5. an assigned or apportioned share
  6. an item or set of items for sale in an auction
  7. mainly US and Canadian an area of landa parking lot
  8. US and Canadian a piece of land with fixed boundaries
  9. mainly US and Canadian a film studio and the site on which it is located
  10. a bad lot an unpleasant or disreputable person
  11. cast in one's lot with or throw in one's lot with to join with voluntarily and share the fortunes of
  12. the lot the entire amount or number
Show More
adverb (preceded by a) informal
  1. to a considerable extent, degree, or amount; very muchto delay a lot
  2. a great deal of the time or oftento sing madrigals a lot
Show More
verb lots, lotting or lotted
  1. to draw lots for (something)
  2. (tr) to divide (land, etc) into lots
  3. (tr) another word for allot
Show More
See also lots

Word Origin

Old English hlot; related to Old High German lug portion of land, Old Norse hlutr lot, share

Lot1

noun
  1. a department of S central France, in Midi-Pyrénées region. Capital: Cahors. Pop: 164 413 (2003 est). Area: 5226 sq km (2038 sq miles)
  2. a river in S France, rising in the Cévennes and flowing west into the Garonne River. Length: about 483 km (300 miles)
Show More

Lot2

noun
  1. Old Testament Abraham's nephew: he escaped the destruction of Sodom, but his wife was changed into a pillar of salt for looking back as they fled (Genesis 19)
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for lot

n.

Old English hlot "object (anything from dice to straw, but often a chip of wood with a name inscribed on it) used to determine someone's share," also "what falls to a person by lot," from Proto-Germanic *khlutom (cf. Old Norse hlutr "lot, share," Old Frisian hlot "lot," Old Saxon hlot, Middle Dutch, Dutch lot, Old High German hluz "share of land," German Los; Old English hleotan "to cast lots, to foretell"), of unknown origin. The object was placed with others in a receptacle, which was shaken, the winner being the one that fell out first. Hence, to cast lots. In some cases the lots were drawn by hand. The word was adopted from Germanic into the Romanic languages (cf. lottery, lotto). Meaning "choice resulting from the casting of lots" first attested c.1200.

Sense of "plot of land" is first recorded 1630s (distribution of the best property in new settlements often determined by casting lots), that of "group, collection" is 1725, from notion of auction lots. The generalized sense of "great many" is first attested in 1812. To cast (one's) lot with another is to agree to share winnings.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lot

lot

a lot

Very many, a large number; also, very much. For example, A lot of people think the economy is declining, or Sad movies always made her cry a lot. It is sometimes put as a whole lot for greater emphasis, as in I learned a whole lot in his class. It may also emphasize a comparative indication of amount, as in We need a whole lot more pizza to feed everyone, or Mary had a lot less nerve than I expected. [Colloquial; early 1800s]

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.