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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blotter

pad, binder, diary, journal, daybook, log, workbook, hallucinogen, candy, dot, peyote

Examples from the Web for blotter

Historical Examples of blotter

  • 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

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

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