Definition of blot in US English:

blot

noun

  • 1A dark mark or stain, typically one made by ink, paint, or dirt.

    ‘a blot of ink’
    • ‘That is truly a blot of ink and not a name, my lord.’
    • ‘The big purple blot is settlement.’
    • ‘He held up his paper, revealing a large blot of ink in the middle of his letter.’
    • ‘It appeared as a blot against the pale blue sky, shrinking steadily until it vanished completely.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On a lower shelf stands a small piece of clear Plexiglas upon which yellow blots have been painted.’
    • ‘Its white breast was bordered by broad dark swaths and had a dark blot right in the center.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This almost monochrome work ranges from black to gray-blue to white, with a few blots of red.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I switch on the light and, before crossing the threshold, I scan the room for dark blots that aren't supposed to be there.’
    • ‘Red blots of paint covered the soldiers' uniforms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A few blots of cloud were on the blue morning sky, with light haze beneath.’
    • ‘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.’
    spot, dot, mark, speck, fleck, blotch, smudge, patch, dab, smut, splash, smear, streak
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    1. 1.1 A shameful act or quality that tarnishes an otherwise good character or reputation.
      ‘the only blot on an otherwise clean campaign’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘But slavery was challenged from the very beginning of this country's origins as a blot upon the nation's moral character.’
      • ‘This is almost universally regarded as a shameful blot on America's history, a cautionary tale of racism, paranoia, and wartime hysteria.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I paid compensation and it was a blot on my character, but it was a one-off.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 added: ‘It's been an eyesore and blot on the centre of Earby town centre for far too many years.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But somehow he himself appears to have escaped personal criticism for this blot on his reign as Pope.’
      • ‘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 would be the greatest disservice to India and a blot which could take years to erase.’
      • ‘The damage done by the road construction is a blot on the page of our proud military history.’
      • ‘The school administrators and teachers should work together to remove this political and intellectual blot.’
      blemish, taint, flaw, fault, defect, stain, tarnishing, imperfection, blight
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    2. 1.2Biochemistry A procedure in which proteins or nucleic acids separated on a gel are transferred directly to an immobilizing medium for identification.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For each dot blot, bovine protein extract was loaded as a negative control and human saliva as a positive control.’
      • ‘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.

    ‘Guy blotted his face with a dust rag’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When you have finished applying the second coat of lipstick, blot the centre of your lips.’
    • ‘The tissue samples were rinsed in ice-cold normal saline and were blotted.’
    • ‘And fortunately enough, I just blotted my oily face so I'm quite sure I looked my prime.’
    • ‘The section surface was rinsed with distilled water and gently blotted with wipes for a few seconds to remove the excess liquid.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fresh material was rinsed in deionized water and blotted carefully with tissue paper.’
    • ‘Walls were blotted with absorbent paper before being lowered into the oil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And as he continues - a flashlight jerry-rigged under his arm - he sets about blotting things dry, one by one, with a flowered sponge.’
    • ‘And he blots his face now, to prove to us he is not oily!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She blotted her lips on a tissue, like I'd seen Aunt Jean do, then hooked my arm in hers.’
    • ‘After grids were blotted and air-dried, the samples were stained.’
    • ‘The doctor pulled out a handkerchief to blot the stain from his slacks.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    smudge, smear, spot, blotch, dot, mark, speckle, bespatter
    tarnish, taint, stain, blacken, sully, smear, mar
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    1. 2.1 Tarnish the good character or reputation of.
      ‘the turmoil blotted his memory of the school’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An interesting encounter awaits them this weekend, when they entertain Ridge Rangers at home, will they be the first to blot their excellent record.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not all athletes deserve our scepticism, and the Essendon captain, particularly, does not deserve a genuine goodness to be blotted by one misdemeanour.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mishaps too numerous and familiar to mention have blotted the Dear Leader's credentials as a tribune of the People.’
      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.

    • ‘Look how they keep on killing us, those people, may their names be blotted out.’
    • ‘Whenever the sight of her father's murder arose, she imagined a black paint brush going over the scene to blot it 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jade grew cold as the sun was blotted out from behind the clouds and everything grew dark.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The problem is that the sun would be blotted out.’
      • ‘But tonight the stars are blotted out by a huge searchlight arcing across the sky from the south.’
      • ‘The sky above them was a dark milky black, the stars blotted out by the snow clouds.’
      • ‘Images on the screens were often blotted out when people near the projector stood up.’
      • ‘Shouting from up ahead and the sun was blotted out for a few seconds as we passed through a gatehouse.’
      • ‘For three days, dense black clouds of smoke blotted out the sun over a wide stretch of the Italian coast.’
      • ‘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 red clouds above turned black, and the sun was blotted out even though it was noon.’
      • ‘The pair could be seen talking in the front of a vehicle, though the policeman's face was blotted out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Just then the lavender sunlight was blotted out of the sky as the rain came pouring down in thick, heavy sheets.’
      • ‘The jackhammers start at 7:30, shortly after the morning sun is blotted out by enormous pick-up trucks the workers drive.’
      • ‘Within the hour, the entire Moon was blotted out by Earth's shadow.’
      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 didn't feel safe anywhere and I took more drugs to blot things out.’
      • ‘I try to blot it out, but it's something you just can't get out of your mind.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath, the soldier shut his eyes, as if to blot out some unnerving memory.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Go or be blotted out as abominable in mine sight!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The absolutely lowest moment of the series was in, I think, an episode for which the title has been blotted out of my memory.’
      • ‘We have the means and enough reasons to blot this bogeyman out of existence.’
      • ‘You blot these cases out of your memory as soon as you have done them.’
      • ‘You're incapable of dealing with the emotion yourself, so you have to resort to something to blot it out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      wipe out, erase, efface, eradicate, obliterate, expunge, destroy, exterminate
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  • 4Biochemistry
    Transfer by means of a blot.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Eighteen candidate clones from the genomic library were digested with a series of restriction enzymes, Southern blotted, and hybridized with the same probe.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

blot

/blät//blɑt/