Idioms

    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

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

Definition for lot (2 of 5)

Lot

1
[ lot ]
/ lɒt /

noun

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.

Definition for lot (3 of 5)

Lot

2
[ lawt ]
/ lɔt /

noun

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.

Definition for lot (4 of 5)

lot.


(in prescriptions) a lotion.

Origin of lot.

From the Latin word lōtiō

Definition for lot (5 of 5)

a lot

[ uh lot ]
/ ə ˈlɒt /

noun

adverb

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for lot

British Dictionary definitions for lot (1 of 3)

See also lots

Word Origin for lot

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

British Dictionary definitions for lot (2 of 3)

Lot

1
/ (lɒt) /

noun

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)

British Dictionary definitions for lot (3 of 3)

Lot

2
/ (lɒt) /

noun

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)
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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lot (1 of 2)

lot


see a lot; carry (a lot of) weight; cast one's lot with; fat chance (lot); have (a lot) going for one; have a lot on one's plate; leave a lot to be desired; quite a bit (lot); think a lot of.

Idioms and Phrases with lot (2 of 2)

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]

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