Definition of blot in English:

blot

noun

  • 1A dark mark or stain made by ink, paint, dirt, etc.:

    ‘a blot of ink’
    • ‘I switch on the light and, before crossing the threshold, I scan the room for dark blots that aren't supposed to be there.’
    • ‘He was hard at work on his magnum opus: a painting, six feet tall, of the Savior's slaughter on the cross, a feral Pollockian image simultaneously repelling and exhilarating; the colors clamored in crimsons and yellows, blacks and speckled, blue blots.’
    • ‘On a lower shelf stands a small piece of clear Plexiglas upon which yellow blots have been painted.’
    • ‘The big purple blot is settlement.’
    • ‘Crucially, there were two faint marks in the text that could either be full stops or else accidental blots of ink, thereby casting doubt on the intended meaning of the text.’
    • ‘He wrote that he knew the topography of each book's blots and dog ears and could trace the dirt in it to having read it with tea and buttered muffins.’
    • ‘The road that we traveled now was an old shepherds' route that would soon split into two paths, one that curved towards the north and another that continued east through a dark blot that at first glance looked like a smudge on the page.’
    • ‘I turned and saw a dark blot on the snow meandering slowly towards us down the bank, which after a moment resolved itself into a ragged man leading a pair of mules.’
    • ‘Her first piece in this mode was Peggy Lee and the Dalmatian, which comprises 18 puddles of fabric stained with black blots that are distributed in different densities and compositional drifts from sheet to sheet.’
    • ‘Red blots of paint covered the soldiers' uniforms.’
    • ‘He held up his paper, revealing a large blot of ink in the middle of his letter.’
    • ‘A closer look reveals entire nighttime cityscapes embedded in the blots of paint, glimpses of Paris, Hong Kong, Prague, and other cities from Park's travels.’
    • ‘A few blots of cloud were on the blue morning sky, with light haze beneath.’
    • ‘Jill's face and neck, already sweaty and pink from running, became covered in red blots.’
    • ‘His technique involved a painstaking process of multiple drawings, precise geometry and carefully applied blots of paint, often taking months.’
    • ‘Its white breast was bordered by broad dark swaths and had a dark blot right in the center.’
    • ‘It appeared as a blot against the pale blue sky, shrinking steadily until it vanished completely.’
    • ‘This almost monochrome work ranges from black to gray-blue to white, with a few blots of red.’
    • ‘That is truly a blot of ink and not a name, my lord.’
    • ‘It was more sensed than seen, a darker blot in the gale-lashed dark, and he frowned and raised one hand, trying vainly to shield his eyes in an effort to see better.’
    spot, dot, mark, speck, fleck, blotch, smudge, patch, dab, smut, splash, smear, streak
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A shameful act or quality that damages an otherwise good character or reputation:
      ‘the only blot on an otherwise clean campaign’
      • ‘This is almost universally regarded as a shameful blot on America's history, a cautionary tale of racism, paranoia, and wartime hysteria.’
      • ‘He added: ‘It's been an eyesore and blot on the centre of Earby town centre for far too many years.’’
      • ‘Nor is there any effort from the so-called distinguished agricultural scientists, economists, and social scientists to come out with proposals to put an end to this shameful blot on the country's image.’
      • ‘Not only did you rob her of her bag but you injured her and the offence has left an appalling blot upon her memory.’
      • ‘None of this is to say that massacres were other than a blot, but rather that a little context does no harm.’
      • ‘He is also said to be squeaky clean, which helps erase the blot on the party's reputation caused by his predecessor, who was forced out due to allegedly shady business practices.’
      • ‘It is an indelible part of his CV, a blot on a distinguished public career, a piquant episode for the more mischievous obituarists eventually to recount.’
      • ‘‘It is a breach of faith with the world's poor, and a blot of dishonour on our international reputation,’ she said.’
      • ‘This is a man who was deputy national security advisor, national security advisor to Ronald Reagan, chairman of the joint chiefs, and here he considers this a blot on his record of public service.’
      • ‘The school administrators and teachers should work together to remove this political and intellectual blot.’
      • ‘Author David K. Wyatt shows no fear and honestly describes the self indulgences, cronyism and corruption that have been a blot on this nation's politics for many, many decades.’
      • ‘But slavery was challenged from the very beginning of this country's origins as a blot upon the nation's moral character.’
      • ‘It would be the greatest disservice to India and a blot which could take years to erase.’
      • ‘But the long-term effects appeared to be a new blot on his already tarnished record and a setback for the opposition, which failed to keep its promise of a nonviolent demonstration.’
      • ‘The victory was to be further blotted when it later transpired that he had used a banned substance before the fight resulting to him being slapped with a six-month suspension.’
      • ‘The damage done by the road construction is a blot on the page of our proud military history.’
      • ‘But somehow he himself appears to have escaped personal criticism for this blot on his reign as Pope.’
      • ‘I paid compensation and it was a blot on my character, but it was a one-off.’
      • ‘It appears this is quite acceptable to an establishment that was too fastidious to allow clever and dedicated men without a blot on their characters, who happened to be hereditary peers, to legislate for us.’
      • ‘The closest thing to a blot on the Private Eye editor's escutcheon seems to be his failure to seek planning permission for alterations to his 16th century timber-framed home.’
      blemish, taint, flaw, fault, defect, stain, tarnishing, imperfection, blight
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    2. 1.2 A thing that mars the appearance of something:
      ‘wind power turbines are a blot on the landscape’
      • ‘Despite numerous calls to the council's cleansing and park departments it remains a blot on the landscape.’
      • ‘It would be a blot on the landscape and has potential health and safety risks.’
      • ‘They believe that the wind farm will be a blot on the landscape, will be noisy and will result in a loss of green space for people who use and enjoy the countryside, such as walkers, cyclists and horse riders.’
      • ‘Not really a head-turner, the bike makes up for the blots in the beauty department, with its gizmo-like qualities!’
      • ‘Since in life they climbed mountains or visited remote spots precisely to get away from the tat of everyday life, it can be presumed that they would be most upset to find that, in death, they had caused a blot on the landscape themselves.’
      • ‘There's not a lot of countryside where people can walk around here and these turbines would be a blot on the landscape.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, a 25-metre phone mast in Gilstead, which protesters said would be a blot on the landscape, is also set to be approved.’
      • ‘‘It's within a stone's throw of the Leeds-Liverpool canal conservation area, a listed mill building, a popular walking route and it would be a blot on the landscape,’ he said.’
      • ‘Today relieved residents - who claimed the mast would pose unacceptable health risks and create a blot on the landscape - were celebrating a ‘victory for common sense.’’
      • ‘The now derelict site, next to one of England's most treasured heritage sites, has been a blot on the landscape since the Jolly Boatman pub was demolished.’
      • ‘And it has done it without being a blot on the landscape as it crosses a river and three peat bogs and cuts through a landfill site before squeezing its way past the town centre alongside a road, railway and canal.’
      • ‘Wind turbines have proved hugely controversial in rural settings, where campaigners have branded them a blot on the landscape and complained about noise.’
      • ‘Opponents claim that the 100 metre-high turbines, along with the transmission lines, underground cables and substations needed to transmit the electricity to the main network, are a blot on the landscape.’
      • ‘But it had become a blot on the landscape for so long because it was underused.’
      • ‘They are worried the mast would become a blot on the landscape and fear the health hazard from radiation emissions.’
      • ‘I don't think it will be a blot on the landscape because it is hidden away.’
      • ‘He said people should be determined to fight ‘this blot on our landscape’ even if calls for a public inquiry failed.’
      • ‘Their action comes amid concerns that mobile phone masts pose possible health risks and that the the 15-metre high structure under consideration would be a blot on the landscape.’
      • ‘The action followed a lengthy campaign by some local people who were unhappy about the site and said it was a blot on the landscape.’
      • ‘Also, a bridge would have to satisfy an environmental assessment, to determine whether it would be a blot on the landscape.’
      eyesore, monstrosity, carbuncle, atrocity, horror, mess
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  • 2Biochemistry
    A procedure in which proteins or nucleic acids separated on a gel are transferred directly to an immobilizing medium for identification.

    • ‘For each dot blot, bovine protein extract was loaded as a negative control and human saliva as a positive control.’
    • ‘The protein blot results for these high-expressing lines are shown in Figure 5B.’
    • ‘We prepared total protein extracts from staged populations of animals and analyzed them by protein blot.’
    • ‘To detect other antigens present on these blots, no ‘stripping’ was performed.’
    • ‘After collecting the last samples, protein extracts were prepared and protein gel blot was performed.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Dry (a wet surface or substance) using an absorbent material:

    ‘Henry blotted the page’
    • ‘And as he continues - a flashlight jerry-rigged under his arm - he sets about blotting things dry, one by one, with a flowered sponge.’
    • ‘The tissue samples were rinsed in ice-cold normal saline and were blotted.’
    • ‘The doctor pulled out a handkerchief to blot the stain from his slacks.’
    • ‘Wild-type and transgenic leaves, from each treatment plate in the previously described study, were blotted dry and weighed.’
    • ‘Keep clean cloths nearby and blot away pools of stain that might be near the painters' tape.’
    • ‘Areas that are too wet with the turpenoid can be carefully blotted with a cotton swab, or an unappealing value can be lifted with a cotton swab dabbed in turpenoid.’
    • ‘Rather, just blot the stain and call a professional carpet cleaner who is trained to use specific solutions or a heat transfer, which uses steam and a solution to transfer the fugitive dye to a cotton towel.’
    • ‘After blotting away the excess of lipid, the grids were plunged in liquid ethane.’
    • ‘You can also use it for blotting handwashed clothes to dry overnight.’
    • ‘After grids were blotted and air-dried, the samples were stained.’
    • ‘Fresh material was rinsed in deionized water and blotted carefully with tissue paper.’
    • ‘When you have finished applying the second coat of lipstick, blot the centre of your lips.’
    • ‘She blotted her lips on a tissue, like I'd seen Aunt Jean do, then hooked my arm in hers.’
    • ‘And he blots his face now, to prove to us he is not oily!’
    • ‘And fortunately enough, I just blotted my oily face so I'm quite sure I looked my prime.’
    • ‘Walls were blotted with absorbent paper before being lowered into the oil.’
    • ‘A little colour also washes out of heavily toned prints, which should be blotted or squeegeed after washing, so the colour does not continue to bleed.’
    • ‘Sculptured finishes may require use of a soft nylon - bristled brush in a rotating motion to get the detergent solution into all the crevices; blot up with absorbent cloth or paper towel, and rinse.’
    • ‘Then, dip the sponge into the glaze and then blot off all extra paint with newspaper or paper towels.’
    • ‘The section surface was rinsed with distilled water and gently blotted with wipes for a few seconds to remove the excess liquid.’
    soak up, absorb, take up, suck up, draw up, sponge up, mop up, sop up
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  • 2Mark or stain (something):

    ‘the writing was messy and blotted’
    • ‘And towering above them all, you have one of the dozens of cranes that continue to blot our capital's skyline, and no doubt will continue to do so for years to come.’
    • ‘Some of the ink had blotted already, spattered with black blood as it was - but it was still readable.’
    • ‘My hand is shaking as I write, and I fear that these pages will be blotted.’
    smudge, smear, spot, blotch, dot, mark, speckle, bespatter
    tarnish, taint, stain, blacken, sully, smear, mar
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Damage the good character or reputation of:
      ‘the turmoil blotted his memory of the school’
      • ‘His early career was blotted with incidents of violent physical retaliation for hard tackles against him sometimes resulting in his spending many games on the sideline, having been issued with red cards.’
      • ‘These, a helpful warden explains, belong to those who blotted their escutcheons as often as not with a royal lady with whom they should not have and were stripped of their honours.’
      • ‘An interesting encounter awaits them this weekend, when they entertain Ridge Rangers at home, will they be the first to blot their excellent record.’
      • ‘Not all athletes deserve our scepticism, and the Essendon captain, particularly, does not deserve a genuine goodness to be blotted by one misdemeanour.’
      • ‘Aware that I had unwittingly become the first person to blot his unblemished track record, I got the feeling as we parted he won't be rushing to return anymore of my phone calls.’
      • ‘Mishaps too numerous and familiar to mention have blotted the Dear Leader's credentials as a tribune of the People.’
      • ‘It tapped the growing middle class anger with corruption, and civil society's urge to tackle the warts that blot the country's emergence as a progressive, modern nation.’
      • ‘In view of the recent judgements and the stand taken on crucial issues it is hoped that the court will uphold the honour and prestige of a great nation so blatantly blotted by the blind evil forces.’
      tarnish, taint, stain, blacken, sully, smear, mar
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  • 3blot something outCover writing or pictures with ink or paint so that they cannot be seen:

    ‘Mary dug her brush into black paint and blotted out her picture’
    • ‘Whenever the sight of her father's murder arose, she imagined a black paint brush going over the scene to blot it out.’
    • ‘In the Edinburgh University Library copy, it appears that a phallic symbol drawn on the king has been blotted over and has been transferred to the title page.’
    • ‘Look how they keep on killing us, those people, may their names be blotted out.’
    • ‘I have thought of blotting these words out with sand and starting again, but the Goddess speaks powerfully in me, and makes me bow my head to Her will.’
    • ‘Rather than employing digital trickery or using the old-fashioned method of re-editing, he elected to blot out the offending material by a huge red block.’
    erase, obliterate, delete, efface, rub out, wipe out, blank out, remove all traces of, expunge, eliminate
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    1. 3.1 Obscure a view:
      ‘a dust shield blotting out the sun’
      • ‘Neighbours complained that the state of the house and garden depressed property prices and even made it impossible to grow vegetables in gardens because the sun was blotted out.’
      • ‘He then apparently set out in more detail what he'd like to do next, but this proved too much for The Sun, which blotted it out.’
      • ‘Jade grew cold as the sun was blotted out from behind the clouds and everything grew dark.’
      • ‘An ‘impact winter’ would follow in which the Sun's life-giving light would be blotted out for years by the debris thrown up by the explosion.’
      • ‘The video screens were blotted out by the clouds, displaying only swirling mists and droplets of moisture punctuated by a flash as lightning rippled through a cloud.’
      • ‘The problem is that the sun would be blotted out.’
      • ‘Shouting from up ahead and the sun was blotted out for a few seconds as we passed through a gatehouse.’
      • ‘The jackhammers start at 7:30, shortly after the morning sun is blotted out by enormous pick-up trucks the workers drive.’
      • ‘The pair could be seen talking in the front of a vehicle, though the policeman's face was blotted out.’
      • ‘Within the hour, the entire Moon was blotted out by Earth's shadow.’
      • ‘For three days, dense black clouds of smoke blotted out the sun over a wide stretch of the Italian coast.’
      • ‘Nor do the planets escape alignment with the Moon: because they occupy a restricted band about the ecliptic, they, too, are frequently blotted out for a brief time.’
      • ‘But tonight the stars are blotted out by a huge searchlight arcing across the sky from the south.’
      • ‘Images on the screens were often blotted out when people near the projector stood up.’
      • ‘Looking up into the mid water region presented a warm green glow which modulated in brightness as the sun was blotted out by frequent clouds.’
      • ‘The sky above them was a dark milky black, the stars blotted out by the snow clouds.’
      • ‘Those ones where the sky is completely grey except for a bright spot where the sun is blotted out and the rain comes and goes.’
      • ‘The Sun shone from directly behind the Mountain, which partially blotted it out.’
      • ‘Just then the lavender sunlight was blotted out of the sky as the rain came pouring down in thick, heavy sheets.’
      • ‘The red clouds above turned black, and the sun was blotted out even though it was noon.’
      conceal, hide, obscure, exclude, obliterate, erase
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    2. 3.2 Obliterate or disregard something painful in one's memory or existence:
      ‘the concentration necessary to her job blotted out all the feelings’
      • ‘I try to blot it out, but it's something you just can't get out of your mind.’
      • ‘You blot these cases out of your memory as soon as you have done them.’
      • ‘Two years ago, the pain of a prior opening week having been blotted from my consciousness by some defence mechanism, I accepted an invitation for the Saturday at the end of the opening week.’
      • ‘I am a lucky man as much as my job is difficult and depressing at times, I don't get to the end of the week and have the same kind of urgency to blot everything out and release five days worth of pressure and frustration.’
      • ‘Go or be blotted out as abominable in mine sight!’
      • ‘That's why he never thanked you personally, that would have meant recognizing that he had been ill, and his way of coping was to try and blot it from his mind.’
      • ‘Plenty of prisoners only go on heroin after they get inside, rationally concluding that a long stretch in a vile environment is best blotted out.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath, the soldier shut his eyes, as if to blot out some unnerving memory.’
      • ‘You're incapable of dealing with the emotion yourself, so you have to resort to something to blot it out.’
      • ‘Indeed, in our modern mindset, we take the notion of the tormentor and merely blot it out, wishing away its existence without really addressing the underlying causes.’
      • ‘We have the means and enough reasons to blot this bogeyman out of existence.’
      • ‘The man, a university graduate, told police after the crash that he could not understand why he had hit the cyclist who was not more than 0.5 metres from the kerb and Mr. Chapman said since then he had blotted the accident from his mind.’
      • ‘And the answer that a rational mind then says, well, he is in the midst of this and he is just blotting this out of his brain.’
      • ‘In his defence, he declares that the death of his mother, Sylvia, from leukaemia, when he was only 16, sparked a compulsion to blot everything out, whatever the damage to his own body.’
      • ‘It blotted out memories of that floodlit game there last season when they beat us before it got dark enough to turn on the lights.’
      • ‘That is not to say that his memory was blotted out.’
      • ‘I didn't feel safe anywhere and I took more drugs to blot things out.’
      • ‘Wil stepped back from the locker with a muttered curse, slamming the locker closed as Vicki turned away, mouth covered and eyes tightly closed, trying to blot out the memory.’
      • ‘No matter how painful it can be, it would be impossible to blot out my last memory of Sophie, standing on the far side of the room dressed in her school uniform.’
      • ‘The absolutely lowest moment of the series was in, I think, an episode for which the title has been blotted out of my memory.’
      wipe out, erase, efface, eradicate, obliterate, expunge, destroy, exterminate
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  • 4Biochemistry
    Transfer by means of a blot.

    • ‘Eighteen candidate clones from the genomic library were digested with a series of restriction enzymes, Southern blotted, and hybridized with the same probe.’
    • ‘DNAs were digested with restriction enzymes, separated on agarose gel, and blotted onto a nylon membrane.’
    • ‘I have purified, cloned, sub-cloned, transfected, blotted and detected DNA.’
    • ‘The DNA fragments are transferred or blotted to a nylon or nitrocellulose paper and baked to bind the single stranded DNA to the paper.’
    • ‘First, after electrophoresis of the proteins through a polyacrylamide gel, they are transferred by blotting to a porous membrane sheet.’

Phrases

  • blot one's copybook

    • Tarnish one's good reputation:

      ‘she saw her sister blot her copybook by being quoted in the press’
      • ‘Although analysts are bullish on the banks, it would be all too easy for bad debt jitters to blot their copy books.’
      • ‘But he blotted his copybook when he pulled Ronaldo's shirt to concede the penalty.’
      • ‘My take was that his new-found partisanship blotted the copybook of his former life.’
      • ‘Hasn't he just blotted his copybook in his dotage by coming out in favour of nuclear power?’
      • ‘Nobody expects him to get a big government rail job - he blotted his copybook with civil servants over English Heritage - though his experience would make him an obvious choice.’
      • ‘Over 800 years the family only once blotted its copybook.’
      • ‘It would have been a ludicrous way for Liverpool's biggest summer signing to blot his copybook as his ambitious move began to gain all the hallmarks of a beautiful relationship.’
      • ‘Youthful, knowledgeable, approachable and enthusiastic but he soon blotted his copybook with both the players and the media.’
      • ‘An odd lapse or two blotted an otherwise impressive copybook’
      • ‘The big all-rounder produced another impressive bowling performance on the first day of the Championship match against Kent, but blotted his copybook by dropping a tricky slip chance late in the day.’
      • ‘It blotted its copybook by issuing a couple of profits warnings, but it still has £2bn in the bank so its shares could go higher from this level.’
      • ‘However, the big striker blotted his copybook on his return missing a penalty in 29 minutes.’
      • ‘Thus, with capital freely moving into every potential nook and cranny, countries which have blotted their copybook, or have no copybook at all, are suffering disproportionately.’
      • ‘Who wants to blot their copybook with one of the country's biggest donors?’
      • ‘If they blot their copybook, it could be refused.’
      • ‘But if you haven't blotted your copybook to quite that extent then you could probably improve the look of your files in as little as six months.’
      • ‘Because genuine accidents do occur, the police, not wanting to blot their copy book, write it off.’
      • ‘There are only two minor plateaus blotting her copybook - one in early February and one in mid-April.’
      • ‘Another has blotted his copybook on his two most recent starts after a promising start to his chasing career.’
      • ‘He blotted his copybook at Horsfall by making himself unavailable for Tuesday's game at Harrogate.’

Origin

Late Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Old Norse blettr.

Pronunciation:

blot

/blɒt/