- one of a set of objects, as straws or pebbles, drawn or thrown from a container to decide a question or choice by chance.
- the casting or drawing of such objects as a method of deciding something: to choose a person by lot.
- the decision or choice made by such a method.
- allotted share or portion: to receive one's lot of an inheritance.
- the portion in life assigned by fate or Providence; one's fate, fortune, or destiny: Her lot had not been a happy one.
- a distinct portion or piece of land: a building lot.
- a piece of land forming a part of a district, city, or other community.
- South Midland and Southern U.S. a farmyard or barnyard.
- a piece of land having the use specified by the attributive noun or adjective: a parking lot; a used-car lot.
- Movies. a motion-picture studio and its surrounding property.
- a distinct portion or parcel of anything, as of merchandise: The furniture was to be auctioned off in 20 lots.
- a number of things or persons collectively: There's one more, and that's the lot.
- kind of person; sort: He's a bad lot.
- Often lots. a great many or a great deal: a lot of books; lots of money.
- Chiefly British. a tax or duty.
- to divide or distribute by lot (sometimes followed by out): to lot furniture for sale; to lot out apples by the basketful.
- to assign to one as his or her lot; allot.
- to divide into lots, as land.
- Obsolete. to cast or draw lots for.
- to draw lots.
- Often lots. a great deal; greatly: Thanks a lot for the ride. I care lots about my family.
- 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.
- draw/cast lots, to settle a question by the use of lots: They drew lots to see who would go first.
Origin of lot
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- 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.
- a river in S France, flowing W to the Garonne. 300 miles (480 km) long.
- a department in S France. 2018 sq. mi. (5225 sq. km). Capital: Cahors.
Examples from the Web for lots
They are made in a social setting, surrounded by lots of other people with various ways to resist bad decisions.Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans
Philip K. Howard
December 27, 2014
Some people worship money, some people worship power, and lots of people worship themselves.Santa Fails One More Time
P. J. O’Rourke
December 27, 2014
No sign of any North Koreans, just lots of common, or garden, internet cybercriminals.No, North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony
December 24, 2014
Sharp did lots of school plays, which led to a role in amateur operetta, then professional pantomime.The Brit Who Stormed Broadway
December 7, 2014
Her staff had "lots of meetings" over Thanksgiving break, Feinstein said.CIA Torture Report ‘Days’ Away, Feinstein Says
December 2, 2014
I'd rather trust your judgment now than lots of older men down there.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
There will be lots of work for me before this night is over.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
"Lots of those fellows about in my day," said the Mound-Builder.The Trail Book
I know what I am saying for I have come here lots and lots of times just to listen.The Boy Life of Napoleon
But some on 'em did have lots of work on their hands, I couldn't dispute it.Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 5.
Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
- (often foll by of) great numbers or quantitieslots of people; to eat lots
- a great deal
- (intensifier)the journey is lots quicker by train
- (functioning as singular or plural preceded by a) a great number or quantitya lot to do; a lot of people; a lot of trouble
- a collection of objects, items, or peoplea nice lot of youngsters
- portion in life; destiny; fortuneit falls to my lot to be poor
- 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)
- the use of lots in making a selection or choice (esp in the phrase by lot)
- an assigned or apportioned share
- an item or set of items for sale in an auction
- mainly US and Canadian an area of landa parking lot
- US and Canadian a piece of land with fixed boundaries
- mainly US and Canadian a film studio and the site on which it is located
- a bad lot an unpleasant or disreputable person
- cast in one's lot with or throw in one's lot with to join with voluntarily and share the fortunes of
- the lot the entire amount or number
- to a considerable extent, degree, or amount; very muchto delay a lot
- a great deal of the time or oftento sing madrigals a lot
- to draw lots for (something)
- (tr) to divide (land, etc) into lots
- (tr) another word for allot
- a department of S central France, in Midi-Pyrénées region. Capital: Cahors. Pop: 164 413 (2003 est). Area: 5226 sq km (2038 sq miles)
- a river in S France, rising in the Cévennes and flowing west into the Garonne River. Length: about 483 km (300 miles)
- 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)
Word Origin and History for lots
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.