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a. A mark on a surface differing sharply in color from its surroundings.
b. A blemish, mark, or pimple on the skin.
c. A stain or blot.
2. Games
a. A mark or pip on a playing card; a spade, club, diamond, or heart.
b. A playing card with a specified number of such marks on it indicating its value.
3. Informal A piece of paper money worth a specified number of dollars: a five spot.
a. A small area: a bald spot; an itchy spot.
b. A location or position: a good spot for catching fish.
c. A point of interest: There are a lot of spots to visit in the old city.
d. A position or an item in an ordered arrangement: the first spot in line.
e. Football The position of the ball for the line of scrimmage as determined by a referee after a play.
5. Informal A situation, especially a troublesome one.
6. A flaw in one's reputation or character: a dark spot in his past.
7. A short presentation or commercial on television or radio between major programs: a news spot.
8. Informal A spotlight.
9. pl. spot or spots A small croaker (Leiostomus xanthurus) of North American Atlantic waters, having a dark mark above each pectoral fin and valued as a food and game fish.
10. Chiefly British A small amount; a bit: a spot of tea.
v. spot·ted, spot·ting, spots
1. To cause a spot or spots to appear on, especially:
a. To soil with spots: Soot spotted the curtains.
b. To decorate with spots; dot.
2. To bring disgrace to; besmirch: rumors that spotted his reputation.
a. To place in a particular location; situate precisely: spotted their stores in smaller towns.
b. Football To position (the ball) determining the line of scrimmage after a play has been completed.
4. To detect or discern, especially visually; spy: spotted him on the subway.
5. To remove spots from, as in a laundry.
6. Sports To yield a favorable scoring margin to: spotted their opponents 11 points.
7. Sports To act as a spotter for (a gymnast, for example).
8. Informal To lend: Can you spot me $25 until payday?
1. To become marked with spots: These dishes spot easily.
2. To cause a discoloration or make a stain.
3. To locate targets from the air during combat or training missions.
1. Made, paid, or delivered immediately: a spot sale.
2. Of, relating to, or being a market in which payment or delivery is immediate: the spot market in oil.
3. Involving random or selective instances or actions: a spot investigation.
4. Presented between major radio or television programs: a spot announcement.
in spots
Now and then; here and there; occasionally.
on the spot
1. Without delay; at once.
2. At the scene of action.
3. Under pressure or attention; in a pressed position.

[Middle English, from Old English.]

spot′ta·ble adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spots - spots before the eyes caused by opaque cell fragments in the vitreous humor and lens; "floaters seem to drift through the field of vision"
symptom - (medicine) any sensation or change in bodily function that is experienced by a patient and is associated with a particular disease
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
I wiped the blood off the old sword and handed it back to the priest--I did not want the fresh gore to obliterate those sacred spots that crimsoned its brightness one day six hundred years ago and thus gave Godfrey warning that before the sun went down his journey of life would end.
Speaker, I wish to hurl back an allegation and explain that the spots upon me are the natural markings of one who is a direct descendant of the sun and a spotted fawn.
He washed himself, and rubbed his clothes; there were spots that would not be removed, but he cut the pieces out, and burnt them.
The evening of the day on which I had taken my madman's resolution to depart in anger from all that was dear to me found me in that congenial spot. The light of the half moon fell ghostly through the foliage of trees in spots and patches, revealing much that was unsightly, and the black shadows seemed conspiracies withholding to the proper time revelations of darker import.
It was observed that his clothing was wet in spots, as if (so the prosecution afterward pointed out) he had been removing blood-stains from it.
Then from that spot came the sound of a horn, with the signal agreed on in case of a fight.
IN spring of youth it was my lot To haunt of the wide earth a spot The which I could not love the less -- So lovely was the loneliness Of a wild lake, with black rock bound, And the tall pines that tower'd around.
The sapling which had rooted down to a poisonous stratum on the spot of its sowing had been transplanted to a deeper soil.
While the former surveyed the ruins, both internally and externally, with the curiosity of one whose recollections were reviving at each moment, Chingachgook related to his son, in the language of the Delawares, and with the pride of a conqueror, the brief history of the skirmish which had been fought, in his youth, in that secluded spot. A strain of melancholy, however, blended with his triumph, rendering his voice, as usual, soft and musical.
The sheriff had now touched his cousin in a sensitive spot; and Marmaduke lent a more attentive ear to the speaker, who, after waiting a moment to see the effect of this extraordinary development, proceeded:
The Weir was full two miles above the spot to which the young men had repaired to watch the storm.
I craved human companionship, and, coming off the poop, took my place by the side of the boatswain (a man whom I did not like) in a comparatively dry spot where at worst we had water only up to our knees.