Etymology: Middle English; akin to Middle Dutch spotte stain, speck, Old Norse spotti small piece
Date: 13th century
1. a taint on character or reputation ; fault <the only spot on the family name> 2. a. a small area visibly different (as in color, finish, or material) from the surrounding area b. (1) an area marred or marked (as by dirt) (2) a circumscribed surface lesion of disease (as measles) or decay <spots of rot> <rust spots on a leaf> c. a conventionalized design used on playing cards to distinguish the suits and indicate values 3. an object having a specified number of spots or a specified numeral on its surface 4. a small quantity or amount ; bit 5. a. a particular place, area, or part b. a small extent of space 6. plural usually spot a small croaker (Leiostomus xanthurus) of the Atlantic coast with a black spot behind the opercula 7. a. a particular position (as in an organization or a hierarchy) b. a place or appearance on an entertainment program 8. spotlight 9. a position usually of difficulty or embarrassment 10. a brief announcement or advertisement broadcast between scheduled radio or television programs 11. a brief segment or report on a broadcast especially of news II. verb (spotted; spotting) Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to stain the character or reputation of ; disgrace 2. to mark in or with a spot ; stain 3. to locate or identify by a spot 4. a. to single out ; identify; especially to note as a known criminal or a suspicious person b. detect, notice <spot a mistake> c. (1) to locate accurately <spot an enemy position> (2) to cause to strike accurately <spot the battery's fire> 5. a. to lie at intervals in or over ; stud b. to place at intervals or in a desired spot <spot field telephones> c. to fix in or as if in the beam of a spotlight d. to schedule in a particular spot or at a particular time 6. to remove a spot from 7. to allow as a handicap intransitive verb 1. to become stained or discolored in spots 2. to cause a spot 3. to act as a spotter; especially to locate targets 4. to experience abnormal and sporadic bleeding in small amounts from the uterus • spottable adjective III. adjective Date: 1881 1. a. being, originating, or done on the spot or in or for a particular spot <spot coverage of the news> b. available for immediate delivery after sale <spot commodities> c. (1) paid out upon delivery <spot cash> (2) involving immediate cash payment <a spot transaction> d. (1) broadcast between scheduled programs <spot announcements> (2) originating in a local station for a national advertiser e. performing occasionally when needed <chance of making the…varsity as a spot starter and relief pitcher — N. Y. Times> 2. made at random or restricted to a few places or instances <a spot check>; also selected at random or as a sample
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.