- one of various traditional, geometric drawings of a club, diamond, heart, or spade on a playing card for indicating suit and value.
- any playing card from a two through a ten: He drew a jack, a queen, and a three spot.
- a small quantity of anything.
- a drink: a spot of tea.
verb (used with object), spot·ted, spot·ting.
- to determine (a location) precisely on either the ground or a map.
- to observe (the results of gunfire at or near a target) for the purpose of correcting aim.
verb (used without object), spot·ted, spot·ting.
- pertaining to the point of origin of a local broadcast.
- broadcast between announced programs.
- spot announcement,
- spot card,
- spot check,
- spot height,
- spot line
- without delay; at once; instantly.
- at the very place in question.
- in a difficult or embarrassing position.
- in a position of being expected to act or to respond in some way.
Origin of spot
- Also called: spot ballthe white ball that is distinguished from the plain by a mark or spot
- the player using this ball
- at the place in question
- in the best possible position to deal with a situation
- in an awkward predicament
- without moving from the place of one's location, etc
- (as modifier)our on-the-spot reporter
- some aspect of a character or situation that is susceptible to criticism
- a flaw in a person's knowledgeclassics is my weak spot
verb spots, spotting or spotted
Word Origin for spot
c.1200, "moral stain," probably from Old English splott "a spot, blot, patch (of land)" infl. by Middle Dutch spotte "spot, speck." Other cognates are East Frisian spot "speck," North Frisian spot "speck, piece of ground," Old Norse spotti "small piece." It is likely that some of these are borrowed, but the exact evolution now is impossible to trace.
Meaning "speck, stain" is from mid-14c. The sense of "particular place" is from c.1300. Meaning "short interval in a broadcast for an advertisement or announcement" is from 1923. Proceeded by a number (e.g. five-spot) it originally was a term for "prison sentence" of that many years (1901, American English slang). To put (someone) on the spot "place in a difficult situation" is from 1928. Colloquial phrase to hit the spot "satisfy, be what is required" is from 1868. Spot check first attested 1933. Spot on "completely, accurately" is attested from 1920.
early 15c., "to stain, sully, tarnish" from spot (n.). Sense of "to stain with spots" is attested from mid-15c. Meaning "to see and recognize," is from 1718, originally colloquial and applied to a criminal or suspected person; the general sense is from 1860. Related: Spotted; spotting.
see blind spot; hit the high spots; hit the spot; in a bind (tight spot); in a fix (spot); Johnny-on-the-spot; knock the socks (spots) off; leopard cannot change its spots; on the spot; rooted to the spot; soft spot; x marks the spot.