Definition of on the spot in English:

on the spot


  • 1Without any delay; immediately.

    ‘he offered me the job on the spot’
    • ‘At a time when the camera was little used in newspaper work, the job of making rapid sketches on the spot for subsequent publication demanded a quick eye and and a rapid hand, and encouraged an interest in scenes of everyday life.’
    • ‘His real teeth got knocked out in a fight, but they were so integral to his ‘look’ that a frantic Spanish ad agency had a replica pair made on the spot.’
    • ‘If they have the right look, sign them on the spot.’
    • ‘Lean liked what he was hearing and on the spot decided that Jarre should do the whole job, giving him a mere six weeks to record everything.’
    • ‘They were offered jobs with his company on the spot.’
    • ‘George is immediately smitten and asks her to marry him on the spot.’
    • ‘Julie cans her on the spot, not caring that the delay wasn't her fault.’
    • ‘Rider Strong nailed the audition with no direction whatsoever, and won the job on the spot.’
    • ‘One of them shockingly and immediately blows his own brains out on the spot, rather than be driven by his commander to go back on the line.’
    • ‘When he displays his handiness with a temperamental car, he is offered a job on the spot.’
    immediately, there and then, then and there, straight away, right away, forthwith, instantly, summarily, without delay, without hesitation, at once, that instant, directly
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  • 2At the scene of an event.

    ‘journalists on the spot reported no progress’
    • ‘Soon after, Bartley and O'Briain were on the spot when the march approached the palace, and snipers suddenly opened fire on the Chávez supporters.’
    • ‘The camera provides a sharp, close-up view for the remote physician that is actually superior to what the doctor on the spot can get using his own unaided vision.’
    • ‘However, you get to meet luminaries of the opera world, work with fine, like-minded colleagues and are on the spot when opportunities arise.’
    • ‘In the new Raymonda the good guy isn't away at the Crusades; he's on the spot.’
  • 3British (with reference to an action) performed without moving from one's original position.

    ‘running on the spot’
    • ‘Perhaps the key to Coldplay's live act is their interaction with the crowd, surprising when you think three of the four band members do little more than move around on the spot.’
    • ‘They're all presented in glorious new digital garb and remind some of us of a certain age that simply jumping up and down on the spot was once considered dancing.’
    • ‘The better it gets, the more she jabs her arms and hops up and down on the spot.’
    • ‘There's stretching and jumping and marching on the spot.’