verb (used with object), dot·ted, dot·ting.

verb (used without object), dot·ted, dot·ting.

to make a dot or dots.


    dot one's i's and cross one's t's, to be meticulous or precise, even to the smallest detail.
    on the dot, Informal. precisely; exactly at the time specified: The guests arrived at eight o'clock on the dot.
    the year dot, British Informal. very long ago.

Origin of dot

before 1000; perhaps to be identified with Old English dott head of a boil, though not attested in Middle English; cf. dottle, dit, derivative of Old English dyttan to stop up (probably derivative of dott); cognate with Old High German tutta nipple
Related formsdot·like, adjectivedot·ter, noun


[dot, dawt]

noun Civil Law.

Origin of dot

1850–55; < French < Latin dōtem, accusative of dōs dowry, akin to dāre to give
Related formsdo·tal [doht-l] /ˈdoʊt l/, adjective




a female given name, form of Dorothea and Dorothy.


Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dot

Contemporary Examples of dot

Historical Examples of dot

  • If ever she was suited to a dot, it was jest then 'n' there.

    The Village Watch-Tower

    (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • “I didn't said dot I vould be a goot sby, Dick,” responded Fritz.

    The Dare Boys of 1776

    Stephen Angus Cox

  • It was almost forty minutes to the dot when Hilary's head emerged from the cleft.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • A dot on the desert expanded into a pit, a tower, and some small buildings.

    The Big Tomorrow

    Paul Lohrman

  • Lo, at last, there was a dot on the clouds, And—at last and at last— —God—the sky was filled with armies.

    War is Kind

    Stephen Crane

British Dictionary definitions for dot




a small round mark made with or as with a pen, etc; spot; speck; point
anything resembling a dot; a small amounta dot of paint
the mark (˙) that appears above the main stem of the letters i, j
  1. the symbol (·) placed after a note or rest to increase its time value by half
  2. this symbol written above or below a note indicating that it must be played or sung staccato
maths logic
  1. the symbol (.) indicating multiplication or logical conjunction
  2. a decimal point
the symbol (·) used, in combination with the symbol for dash (–), in the written representation of Morse and other telegraphic codesCompare dit
the year dot informal as long ago as can be remembered
on the dot at exactly the arranged time

verb dots, dotting or dotted

(tr) to mark or form with a dotto dot a letter; a dotted crotchet
(tr) to scatter or intersperse (with dots or something resembling dots)bushes dotting the plain
(intr) to make a dot or dots
dot one's i's and cross one's t's to pay meticulous attention to detail
Derived Formsdotter, noun

Word Origin for dot

Old English dott head of a boil; related to Old High German tutta nipple, Norwegian dott, Dutch dott lump




civil law a woman's dowry
Derived Formsdotal (ˈdəʊtəl), adjective

Word Origin for dot

C19: from French, from Latin dōs; related to dōtāre to endow, dāre to give
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 dot

Old English dott "speck, head of a boil," perhaps related to Norwegian dot "lump, small knot," Dutch dot "knot, small bunch, wisp," Old High German tutta "nipple;" ultimate origin unclear.

Known from a single source c.1000; the word reappeared with modern meaning "mark" c.1530; not common until 18c. Morse telegraph sense is from 1838. On the dot "punctual" is 1909, in reference to a clock dial face. Dot-matrix first attested 1975.


1740, from dot (n.). Related: Dotted; dotting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dot in Medicine




A tiny round mark made by or as if by a pointed instrument; a spot.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dot in Science



A symbol (·) indicating multiplication, as in 2 · 4 = 8. It is used to indicate the dot product of vectors, for example A · B.
A period, as used as in URLs and e-mail addresses, to separate strings of words, as in
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with dot


In addition to the idiom beginning with dot

  • dot the i's and cross the t's

also see:

  • on the dot
  • sign on the dotted line
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.