Definition of spot noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//spɒt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɑːt//
    Radio broadcasting, Rain
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    small mark
  1. 1  a small round area that has a different colour or feels different from the surface it is on Which has spots, the leopard or the tiger? The male bird has a red spot on its beak. (British English) She was wearing a black skirt with white spots. Wordfinderband, check, dot, fleck, pattern, speckle, splash, spot, streak, stripe see also beauty spot, sunspot Synonymspatchdot mark spotThese are all words for a small part on a surface that is a different colour from the rest.patch an area of something, especially one which is different from the area around it:a white dog with a black patch on its head patches of dense fogdot a small round mark on something, especially one that is printed:The letters ‘i’ and ‘j’ have dots over them. The island is a small green dot on the map.mark a noticeable area of colour on the body of a person or animal:The horse had a white mark on its head.spot a small round area that is a different colour or feels different from the surface it is on:Which has spots, a leopard or a tiger?Patterns a patch/​dot/​mark/​spot on something with patches/​dots/​marks/​spots a blue/​black/​red, etc. patch/​dot/​mark/​spot
  2. 2  a small dirty mark on something His jacket was covered with spots of mud. rust spots Synonymsmarkstain fingerprint streak speck blot smear spotThese are all words for a small area of dirt or another substance on a surface.mark a small area of dirt or other substance on the surface of something, especially one that spoils its appearance:The kids left dirty marks all over the kitchen floor.stain a dirty mark on something that is difficult to remove, especially one made by a liquid:blood stainsfingerprint a mark on a surface made by the pattern of lines on the end of a person’s finger, often used by the police to identify criminals:Her fingerprints were all over the gun.streak a long thin mark or line that is a different colour from the surface it is on:She had streaks of grey in her hair.speck a very small mark, spot or piece of a substance on something:There isn’t a speck of dust anywhere in the house.blot a spot or dirty mark left on something by a substance such as ink or paint being dropped on a surfacesmear a mark made by something such as oil or paint being spread or rubbed on a surfacespot a small dirty mark on something:There were grease spots all over the walls.Patterns a streak/​speck/​blot/​smear/​spot of something a greasy mark/​stain/​smear an ink mark/​stain/​blot/​spot a grease mark/​stain/​spot to leave a mark/​stain/​fingerprint/​streak/​speck/​blot/​smear
  3. 3  [usually plural] a small mark or lump on a person’s skin, sometimes with a yellow head to it The baby's whole body was covered in small red spots. (British English) teenagers worried about their spots compare pimple, rash, zit
  4. place
  5. 4  a particular area or place a quiet/secluded/lonely, etc. spot He showed me the exact spot where he had asked her to marry him. She stood rooted to the spot with fear (= unable to move). a tourist spot This is a favourite spot for walkers and climbers. see also black spot, blind spot, hot spot, nightspot, trouble spot Synonymsplacesite area position point location scene spot venueThese are all words for a particular area or part of an area, especially one used for a particular purpose or where somebody/​something is situated or happens.place a particular point, area, city, town, building, etc, especially one used for a particular purpose or where a particular thing happens:This would be a good place for a picnic.site the place where something, especially a building, is or will be situated; a place where something happened or that is used for a particular purpose:They’ve chosen a site for the new school.area a part of a room, building or particular space that is used for a special purpose; a particular place on an object:the hotel reception area Move the cursor to a blank area on the screen.position the place where a person or thing is situated; the place where somebody/​something is meant to be:From his position at the top of the hill, he could see the harbour. The position of somebody/​something is often temporary: the place where somebody/​something is at a particular time.point a particular place within an area, where something happens or is supposed to happen:the point at which the river divideslocation a place where something happens or exists, especially a place that is not named or not known:The company is moving to a new location.scene a place where something happens, especially something unpleasant:the scene of the accidentspot a particular point or area, especially one that has a particular character or where something particular happens:The lake is one of the local beauty spots.venue the place where people meet for an organized event such as a performance or sports event.Patterns at a place/​site/​position/​point/​location/​scene/​spot/​venue in a(n) place/​area/​position/​location/​venue the place/​site/​point/​location/​spot/​venue where… the right place/​site/​position/​location/​spot/​venue a central site/​position/​location/​venue the/​somebody’s/​something’s exact/​precise place/​site/​position/​point/​location/​spot
  6. small amount
  7. 5[usually singular] spot of something (British English, informal) a small amount of something synonym bit He's in a spot of trouble. Would you like a spot of lunch? She’s gone out to do a spot of shopping.
  8. 6[usually plural] spot (of something) a small amount of a liquid I felt a few spots of rain. See related entries: Rain
  9. part of show
  10. 7a part of a television, radio, club or theatre show that is given to a particular entertainer or type of entertainment a guest/solo spot See related entries: Radio broadcasting
  11. in competition
  12. 8a position in a competition or an event two teams battling for top spot
  13. light
  14. 9(informal) = spotlight
  15. Word OriginMiddle English: perhaps from Middle Dutch spotte. The sense ‘notice, recognize’ arose from the early 19th-cent. slang use ‘note as a suspect or criminal’.Extra examples From his angry reply it was obvious that I had touched a sensitive spot. Glamorgan claimed the top spot in the League. He stood rooted to the spot, unable to move. He usually wears a hat to hide his bald spot. I have a blind spot where jazz is concerned. It’s a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It’s easier to hit the sweet spot on larger-faced golf clubs. On your map, X marks the spot where the race begins. She had a small beauty spot on the left side of her face. She has earned a spot on the national team. She pointed to a spot on the map. Take the time to find the right spot to pitch your tent. That leaves one roster spot, and the team will need a versatile player to fill it. The Korean team secured two qualifying spots for the Olympic Games. The album quickly reached the number-one spot in the charts. The birth of my son was the one bright spot in a terrible year. The captain’s knee injury leaves the team in a tight spot. The children all had measles, and had broken out in spots. The fire brigade was on the spot within minutes. The lake is one of the local beauty spots. They picked a good spot for a picnic. a favourite spot for picnickers one of the world’s major trouble spots He has reported from several of the world’s major trouble spots. He showed me the exact spot where he had asked her to marry him. He’s in a spot of trouble. She stood rooted to the spot with fear. She was wearing a white dress with red spots. She’ll always help you if you’re in a spot. She’s gone out to do a spot of shopping. That corner is a notorious accident black spot. There are miles of footpaths and plenty of secluded spots. There was a spot of rain in the afternoon, but otherwise the weather has been perfect. There were grease spots all over the walls. This could put the banks in a tight spot. We got into a spot of bother with the police. Which has spots, a leopard or a tiger?Idioms
    be riveted to the spot/ground
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    to be so shocked or frightened that you cannot move See related entries: Fear
    a good or pleasant part of something that is unpleasant or bad in all other ways The win last week was the only bright spot in their last ten games. not able to move, for example because you are frightened or surprised
    have a soft spot for somebody/something (also Indian English have a soft corner for somebody/something)
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    (informal) to like somebody/something She's always had a soft spot for you.
    (informal) if something hits the spot it does exactly what it should do (informal) in a difficult situation She’ll always help you if you’re in a spot.
    knock spots off somebody/something
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    (British English, informal) to be very much better than somebody/something She knocks spots off all the other candidates.
    a leopard cannot change its spots
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    (saying) people cannot change their character, especially if they have a bad character You didn’t really expect her to be on time, did you? A leopard can’t change its spots.
    1. 1immediately He answered the question on the spot. an on-the-spot parking fine
    2. 2at the actual place where something is happening An ambulance was on the spot within minutes. an on-the-spot report
    3. 3(North American English also in place) in one exact place, without moving in any direction Running on the spot is good exercise.
    put somebody on the spot
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    to make somebody feel awkward or embarrassed by asking them a difficult question The interviewer's questions really put him on the spot. See related entries: Embarrassment
    a very difficult or dangerous situation She’ll always help if you’re in a tight spot.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spot