English

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

     

    spot

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//spɒt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɑːt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they spot
    BrE BrE//spɒt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɑːt//
     
    he / she / it spots
    BrE BrE//spɒts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɑːts//
     
    past simple spotted
    BrE BrE//ˈspɒtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspɑːtɪd//
     
    past participle spotted
    BrE BrE//ˈspɒtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspɑːtɪd//
     
    -ing form spotting
    BrE BrE//ˈspɒtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspɑːtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1(not used in the progressive tenses) to see or notice a person or thing, especially suddenly or when it is not easy to do so spot somebody/something I finally spotted my friend in the crowd. I've just spotted a mistake on the front cover. Can you spot the difference between these two pictures? Her modelling career began when she was spotted at the age of 14. Spotting the disease early can save lives. spot somebody/something doing something Neighbours spotted smoke coming out of the house. spot that… No one spotted that the gun was a fake. spot what, where, etc… I soon spotted what the mistake was. see also spotter Synonymsseespot catch glimpseThese words all mean to become aware of somebody/​something by using your eyes, especially suddenly or when it is not easy to see them/​it.see to become aware of somebody/​something by using your eyes:She looked for him but couldn’t see him in the crowd. He could see (that) she had been crying.spot to see or notice somebody/​something, especially suddenly or when they are not easy to see or notice:I’ve just spotted a mistake on the front cover.catch to see or notice something for a moment, but not clearly or completely:She caught sight of a car in the distance. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror.glimpse (literary) to see somebody/​something for a moment, but not clearly or completely:He’d glimpsed her through the window as he passed.Patterns to see/​spot that/​how/​what/​where/​who… to suddenly see/​spot/​catch/​glimpse somebody/​something
  2. 2spot somebody/something sth (North American English, sport) to give your opponent or the other team an advantage We spotted the opposing team two goals. More Like This Consonant-doubling verbs bob, club, dub, grab, rub, sob, throb kid, nod, pad, plod, prod, shred, skid, thud beg, blog, bug, drag, drug, flag, hug, jog, log, mug, nag, plug bar, confer, infer, occur, prefer, refer, star, stir, transfer acquit, admit, allot, chat, clot, commit, jut, knit, pat, regret, rot, spot, submit (in British English:) appal, cancel, channel, control, counsel, enrol, equal, excel, fuel, fulfil, label, level, marvel, model, pedal, quarrel, signal, travelSee worksheet.
  3. Word Origin Middle 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 ‘There’s a parking space over there.’ ‘Well spotted!’ Can you spot the difference between the two? He was only seven years old when someone first spotted his talent. Most of these fossils are too small to be easily spotted. The birds should be easy enough to spot. The company spotted an opportunity to expand. Her modelling career began when she was spotted by an agent at the age of 14. I’ve just spotted a mistake on the front cover.Idioms
    be spotted with something
     
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    to be covered with small round marks of something His shirt was spotted with oil.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spot