Advertisement

spot (n.)

c. 1200, "moral stain," probably from Old English splott "a spot, blot, patch (of land)," and partly from or related to Middle Dutch spotte "spot, speck." Other cognates are East Frisian spot "speck," North Frisian spot "speck, piece of ground," Old Norse spotti "small piece," Norwegian spot "spot, small piece of land." It is likely that some of these are borrowed from others, but the exact evolution now is impossible to trace.

Meaning "speck, stain" is from mid-14c. The sense of "particular place, small extent of space" is from c. 1300. Meaning "short interval in a broadcast for an advertisement or announcement" is from 1923. Preceded by a number (as in 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 hit the spot "satisfy, be what is required" is from 1868. Spot check is attested by 1933. Adverbial phrase spot on "completely right" attested from 1920.

spot (v.)

mid-13c., "to mark or stain with spots;" late 14c. as "to stain, sully, tarnish," from spot (n.). 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. Spotted dick "suet pudding with currants and raisins" is attested from 1849.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of spot from WordNet
1
spot (n.)
a point located with respect to surface features of some region;
a bright spot on a planet
Synonyms: topographic point / place
spot (n.)
a short section or illustration (as between radio or tv programs or in a magazine) that is often used for advertising;
spot (n.)
an outstanding characteristic;
Synonyms: point
spot (n.)
a blemish made by dirt;
Synonyms: smudge / blot / daub / smear / smirch / slur
spot (n.)
a small contrasting part of something;
a bald spot
a leopard's spots
Synonyms: speckle / dapple / patch / fleck / maculation
spot (n.)
a section of an entertainment that is assigned to a specific performer or performance;
they changed his spot on the program
spot (n.)
a business establishment for entertainment;
night spot
spot (n.)
a job in an organization;
Synonyms: position / post / berth / office / billet / place / situation
spot (n.)
a slight attack of illness;
Synonyms: touch
spot (n.)
a small piece or quantity of something;
a spot of tea
Synonyms: bit
spot (n.)
a mark on a die or on a playing card (shape depending on the suit);
Synonyms: pip
spot (n.)
a lamp that produces a strong beam of light to illuminate a restricted area; used to focus attention of a stage performer;
Synonyms: spotlight
spot (n.)
a playing card with a specified number of pips on it to indicate its value;
an eight-spot
spot (n.)
an act that brings discredit to the person who does it;
Synonyms: blot / smear / smirch / stain
2
spot (v.)
catch sight of;
Synonyms: descry / espy / spy
spot (v.)
detect with the senses;
Synonyms: recognize / recognise / distinguish / discern / pick out / make out / tell apart
spot (v.)
mar or impair with a flaw;
Synonyms: blemish
spot (v.)
make a spot or mark onto;
The wine spotted the tablecloth
Synonyms: fleck / blob / blot
spot (v.)
become spotted;
This dress spots quickly
spot (v.)
mark with a spot or spots so as to allow easy recognition;
spot the areas that one should clearly identify
From wordnet.princeton.edu