Idioms

    hit the high spots, Informal. to deal with or include only the major points of interest: With but a limited amount of vacation time, he concentrated on hitting the high spots of Europe.
    hit the spot, Informal. to satisfy a want or need, as to quench thirst: Iced tea hits the spot during the hot summer months.
    in a (bad) spot, in an uncomfortable or dangerous predicament: The tourists found themselves in a bad spot after they lost their money in Las Vegas.
    knock spots off, British Slang. to outdo easily; beat.
    on the spot,
    1. without delay; at once; instantly.
    2. at the very place in question.
    3. in a difficult or embarrassing position.
    4. in a position of being expected to act or to respond in some way.

Origin of spot

1150–1200; (noun) Middle English spotte; cognate with Middle Dutch, Low German spot speck, Old Norse spotti bit; (v.) late Middle English spotten to stain, mark, derivative of the noun
Related formsspot·like, adjectivespot·ta·ble, adjectivenon·spot·ta·ble, adjectivere·spot, verb, re·spot·ted, re·spot·ting.un·spot·ta·ble, adjective

Synonyms for spot

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for spot-illustration

spot

noun

a small mark on a surface, such as a circular patch or stain, differing in colour or texture from its surroundings
a geographical area that is restricted in extenta beauty spot
a locationthis is the exact spot on which he died
a blemish of the skin, esp a pimple or one occurring through some disease
a blemish on the character of a person; moral flaw
informal a place of entertainmentwe hit all the night spots
informal, mainly British a small quantity or amounta spot of lunch
informal an awkward situationthat puts me in a bit of a spot
a short period between regular television or radio programmes that is used for advertising
a position or length of time in a show assigned to a specific performer
short for spotlight
(in billiards)
  1. Also called: spot ballthe white ball that is distinguished from the plain by a mark or spot
  2. the player using this ball
billiards snooker one of several small black dots on a table that mark where a ball is to be placed
(modifier)
  1. denoting or relating to goods, currencies, or securities available for immediate delivery and paymentspot goods See also spot market, spot price
  2. involving immediate cash paymentspot sales
change one's spots (used mainly in negative constructions) to reform one's character
high spot an outstanding eventthe high spot of the holiday was the visit to the winery
knock spots off to outstrip or outdo with ease
on the spot
  1. immediately
  2. at the place in question
  3. in the best possible position to deal with a situation
  4. in an awkward predicament
  5. without moving from the place of one's location, etc
  6. (as modifier)our on-the-spot reporter
soft spot a special sympathetic affection or weakness for a person or thing
tight spot a serious, difficult, or dangerous situation
weak spot
  1. some aspect of a character or situation that is susceptible to criticism
  2. a flaw in a person's knowledgeclassics is my weak spot

verb spots, spotting or spotted

(tr) to observe or perceive suddenly, esp under difficult circumstances; discern
to put stains or spots upon (something)
(intr) (of some fabrics) to be susceptible to spotting by or as if by watersilk spots easily
(tr) to place here and therethey spotted observers along the border
to look out for and note (trains, talent, etc)
(intr) to rain slightly; spit
(tr) billiards to place (a ball) on one of the spots
military to adjust fire in order to correct deviations from (the target) by observation
(tr) US informal to yield (an advantage or concession) to (one's opponent)to spot someone a piece in chess
Derived Formsspottable, adjective

Word Origin for spot

C12 (in the sense: moral blemish): of German origin; compare Middle Dutch spotte, Old Norse spotti
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 spot-illustration

spot

n.

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.

spot

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for spot-illustration

spot

[spŏt]

n.

A mark on a surface differing sharply in color from its surroundings.
A stain or blot.

v.

To lose a slight amount of blood through the vagina.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with spot-illustration

spot

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.

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