Main definitions of lot in US English:

: lot1Lot2Lot3

lot1

pronoun

a lot" or "lots
informal
  • 1A large number or amount; a great deal.

    ‘there are a lot of actors in the cast’
    ‘they took a lot of abuse’
    ‘a lot can happen in eight months’
    ‘we had lots of fun’
    • ‘And a lot depends upon, of course, what the time schedule is.’
    • ‘But, yes, I learned a lot of stuff that I had no idea about.’
    • ‘Children and teens who sometimes eat a lot don't necessarily have binge eating disorder.’
    • ‘"I don't think a lot is happening with that, particularly around here, " she noted.’
    • ‘The crew walked out amid lots of cheers and, frankly, some deep-rooted fears.’
    • ‘We learn a lot of stuff through confidential means, for a start.’
    • ‘Add to this lots of audience participation and you've got a colourful, memorable and interactive children's show.’
    • ‘There is lots I have that I want to get off my chest in an effort to move on.’
    • ‘Also, they expect lots of crowds to show up for the burial ceremony.’
    • ‘There is a lot he can do to make life difficult for a candidate he has deliberately chosen to lobby against.’
    • ‘I think that means a lot of attention being given to education.’
    • ‘We're in a lot of trouble.’
    • ‘She knows she still has a lot to learn, but she clearly understands now what dancing is all about.’
    • ‘This proves to be a busy and happy day with lots of fun and plenty of work too.’
    • ‘I told you last night, I've got a lot on my mind.’
    • ‘I think a lot has changed regarding Brian and the staff.’
    • ‘Of course there's lots you can do that doesn't cost a thing.’
    • ‘There is not a lot the local authority can do if people are not willing to provide them with information.’
    • ‘There is a lot she misses about home, like soap operas, cosy carpets, her favourite clothes shops and quality cottage cheese.’
    • ‘There is however a lot we could do to encourage respect for the law.’
    a large amount, a fair amount, a good deal, a great deal, a deal, a great quantity, quantities, an abundance, a wealth, a profusion, plenty, masses
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the lot" or "the whole lot The whole number or quantity that is involved or implied.
      ‘you might as well take the whole lot’
      • ‘If the next election really were conducted on the lines of Pop Idol, the people would vote to dump the lot of them.’
      • ‘You're all the same, the lot of you, with your long hair and your hippy clothes.’
      • ‘We'll have the minimum of clothes, two cans of fuel and one of water and that's the lot.’
      • ‘For the rest of us it is the time of season to take the whole lot at once.’
      • ‘He was a sensational player who could pass over any distance, could score goals, create goals, the lot.’
      • ‘The whole lot fitted into a sort of tray which went across the bath within easy reach.’
      • ‘In any other country, where politicians were not assumed to be liars, parliament would demand the whole lot be tossed out.’
      • ‘You are assigned a "section" and the whole lot of you have the same schedule for Contracts.’
      • ‘People like you with tiny pension funds were allowed to take the whole lot in cash at any time after 50.’
      • ‘In terms of footballing credentials, O'Leary has got the lot.’

adverblots

a lot" or "lots
informal
  • A great deal; much.

    ‘he played tennis a lot last year’
    ‘thanks a lot’
    ‘my life is a lot better now’
    ‘I feel a whole lot better’
    • ‘Over the nine years Jed had changed a lot and no longer had the problems he had back then.’
    • ‘She gets very hot and grumpy, sweats lots, dehydrates and needs to be fed more, etc.’
    • ‘At the end of the day, what actors really want to do is act a lot and not wait around in the trailer.’
    • ‘If I had grown up in the city my aesthetic vision would be a lot different.’
    • ‘The bus runs from her house in Chiswick to the West End, so she visits a lot and often brings friends.’
    • ‘I think you'll be able to deal with your feelings a lot better than before.’
    • ‘I do a lot of rehab exercises but I'm certainly a lot better than I was three years ago.’
    • ‘His father had always worked a lot and now that Cal was older, seemed to be working even more often.’
    • ‘In one swift move, my summer was suddenly looking a whole lot different.’
    • ‘There are a lot of people out there who do blogging a lot better than me.’
    • ‘It's a bit like riding a camel, though the motion is a lot less regular.’
    • ‘In that sense, technical systems can often last lots longer than human-based ones.’
    • ‘He's a man I have a lot of time for and could gladly listen to for a lot longer than a day.’
    • ‘They told me to brush my teeth lots while my mouth is recovering.’
    • ‘There is something less intense, less menacing, he certainly looks a lot less brooding.’
    • ‘In seventh grade we teased each other a lot and finally in eighth grade he asked me out.’
    • ‘On arrival at A&E we saw an admission nurse, who tutted and rolled her eyes lots when we said we hadn't seen our GP.’
    • ‘He drank a lot and never gave my mum much money so she took in washing for extra cash.’
    • ‘Just remember though: carefully chosen euphemisms can be a whole lot funnier.’
    • ‘Keep in mind landlords are legally allowed to raise the rent a lot less than most people realize.’
    a great deal, a good deal, to a great extent, much
    View synonyms

nounPlural lots

  • 1informal treated as singular or plural A particular group, collection, or set of people or things.

    ‘it's just one lot of rich people stealing from another’
    • ‘The second lot of butter is important, as it will be less cooked and therefore more delicious.’
    • ‘It was inactive virtually after the second lot of partnership money was invested.’
    • ‘They are asked to fill out some forms, then bureaucrats come around and ask them to fill out more forms, so people fill out several lots of different forms.’
    • ‘I tottered home happily yesterday with nine books and will return for a second lot soon.’
    • ‘I have just finished my fourth lot of antibiotics for a nasty cold I contracted in March this year.’
    • ‘I made my way back to the clinic at 11 to have a second lot of blood taken, and explained what had happened.’
    • ‘Incredibly, this second lot of inmates are even more tedious and uninteresting than the first.’
    • ‘At the moment you have one lot of people handling income tax and another set, in fact one set per council, handling council tax.’
    group, set, crowd, circle, clique, bunch, band, gang, crew, mob, pack, company
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A group or a person of a particular kind (generally used in a derogatory or dismissive way)
      ‘an inefficient lot, our town council’
      ‘he was known as a bad lot’
      ‘you lot think you're clever, don't you?’
      • ‘Even in hyper-liberal Seattle, bloggers tend to be a decidedly conservative lot.’
      • ‘Some politicians feel artistes are a foolish lot, which is not the case.’
      • ‘We had a lot of mail from you lot about the wisdom of mixing phones and petrol stations.’
      • ‘Us lot will be dragged off into an underground lab somewhere and we'll never be seen again.’
      • ‘Voters are seen as a strange and volatile lot, who could turn bad at the blink of an eye.’
      • ‘What she must have made of us lot - we got more uproarious as the evening progressed.’
      • ‘The country's tragedy is that most of its modern leaders are a corrupt, feudal lot.’
      • ‘With one home-schooled student, eight public school kids, and a competitor from a parochial school, the students are a diverse lot.’
      • ‘We need to reclaim choice from this sorry lot, and put a bit of self-determination back on the agenda.’
      • ‘Either way, give me this lot over a bunch of monosyllabic scowlers any day.’
      • ‘There is lots of drek out there from signed bands and this lot do quite a bit with what they have.’
      • ‘On the pitch, off the pitch, if you had seen us lot, you may have thought we are not serious.’
      • ‘It seemed that this group was a trusting lot, happy to accept that I was Richard without any kind of proof.’
      • ‘What rubbish would you have to tune into on another channel to avoid the sight of us lot in action on the telly next June?’
      • ‘Like all young guys, I'm sure they did things they wished they hadn't, but they were a responsible lot.’
      • ‘Apologise that if it wasn't for me then you lot would still be buzzing round like wingless flies.’
      • ‘It seems an excellent challenge and one that I feel you lot would relish too.’
      • ‘You lot who claim to like these little sour cherries are having a laugh aren't you?’
      • ‘When I die you lot can have anything you want.’
      • ‘We have plenty of videos and I'm sure you lot can come up with something to entertain yourselves.’
  • 2An article or set of articles for sale at an auction.

    ‘nineteen lots failed to sell’
    ‘the picture is lot 16’
    • ‘All the lots in this auction were quality tools, covering a wide variety of trades.’
    • ‘It is expected to take four auctioneers seven hours to sell off 1,000 lots to people bidding via the web, by phone and in person.’
    • ‘The massive hoard, more than 5,000 items, has been broken up into a few hundred lots for auction on Tuesday.’
    • ‘In the first sale there are four lots of interest to collectors of Irish art.’
    • ‘The edition was among 450 lots in a sale of fine arts and manuscripts at Sotheby's.’
    • ‘In all the sale extends to 800 lots, ranging across plant, machinery, tools, office equipment, furniture and computers.’
    • ‘It was one of 391 lots at the auction, of which 199 were items of furniture.’
    • ‘But triumph turned to dismay when he learned that the archive was to be split up into 137 separate lots for auction at Christie's.’
    • ‘Parts of that department were now laid out in crates on the car deck, lots to be sold off in the auction.’
    • ‘In smaller operations, your opportunity to view the lots in the auction may be limited to an hour or two before the auction begins.’
    • ‘They took part in a tombola, an auction - with lots donated by local businesses - and a raffle to help raise money for the cause.’
    • ‘Among the highlights of the event will be an auction of 250 lots on Friday evening provided by Martin Donnelly.’
    • ‘In the absence of a printed catalogue, experts sometimes also introduced the lots verbally during auctions.’
    • ‘In total, there are nearly a thousand lots up for auction with every conceivable item utilised in both the running and the upkeep of the hospital appearing on the for sale list.’
    • ‘Aside from the wide range of various artists' prints here, the 306 lots of this sale were drawn from her private collection.’
    • ‘Sotheby's has offered renderings through its online auctions and occasionally includes lots in live sales.’
    • ‘The second lot is a collection of 302 photographs, purchased for £2,500, from Emily Shackleton's family album.’
    • ‘It is notable, for instance, that the recent silver sale at Bonhams had just half the number of lots of the 2003 sale.’
    • ‘The 150-acre site is being sold at public auction in five lots on June 25.’
    • ‘Forty of 46 lots sold, and two new artist auction records were established.’
    batch, set, collection, load, group, bundle, bunch, consignment, quantity, assortment, parcel, aggregate
    View synonyms
  • 3One of a set of objects such as straws, stones, or pieces of paper that are randomly selected as part of a decision-making process.

    ‘they drew lots to determine the order in which they asked questions’
    • ‘The custom by which sons drew lots for equal shares of their dead father's property is described in Odyssey.’
    • ‘The priests drew lots in all cases where differences might arise.’
    • ‘The consuls drew lots for the provinces, and Italy went to Aelius, Macedonia to Quinctius.’
    • ‘The Great Council drew lots to choose 30 men from among its members.’
    decide randomly, spin a coin, toss a coin, throw dice, draw straws, cut straws, decide on the toss of a coin, decide on the throw of a die, dice, decide on the drawing of straws
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 The making of a decision by random selection.
      ‘officers were elected rather than selected by lot’
    2. 3.2in singular The choice resulting from a decision made by random selection.
      ‘eventually the lot fell on the King's daughter’
  • 4in singular A person's luck or condition in life, particularly as determined by fate or destiny.

    ‘plans to improve the lot of the disadvantaged’
    • ‘Making a crime of writing about sex is not going to improve the lot of young people in this country one whit.’
    • ‘With that level of investment even a fool could improve the lot of the NHS.’
    • ‘While this was true, the unions never fought to improve the lot of the Islanders.’
    • ‘She is actually very happy and content with her lot!’
    • ‘Either one is for improving the lot of the majority, in which case one should say so, or one isn't.’
    • ‘Education chiefs are making a new bid to help improve the lot of the borough's most vulnerable children.’
    • ‘If the woman is maimed for life and is saddled with the other responsibilities, her lot is worse.’
    • ‘She worked full time as a weaver to put food on the table and cared for three of us without lamenting her lot.’
    • ‘What all Zambians should realise is that only they can improve the lot of their country.’
    • ‘This should help to curb the influence of criminals, and improve the lot of those working in it.’
    • ‘Global capitalism has been good at improving the lot of the wealthy, less good for others.’
    • ‘This book should forever lay to rest the idea that enslaved African Americans were generally contented with their lot.’
    • ‘She often felt like she had been punished for a reason and that punishment was her lot in life.’
    • ‘The more detailed knowledge we can build up, the better our chance of improving the lot of this lovely bird.’
    • ‘He seems not to understand that it is natural for folk to want to see the lot of their children improve from what it was for them.’
    • ‘No one likes to hear someone constantly whining about their lot in life.’
    • ‘Is it not natural for parents to want to improve the lot of their children?’
    • ‘The challenge is nothing less than how to save the planet while improving the lot of the six billion plus people who live on it.’
    • ‘This stupendous sum has failed spectacularly to improve the lot of its intended beneficiaries.’
    • ‘He had witnessed many enthusiasts like us, a few improving the lot of the tribal villagers but most failing.’
    fate, destiny, fortune, doom
    View synonyms
  • 5North American A plot of land assigned for sale or for a particular use.

    ‘a vacant lot’
    ‘a fenced-off back lot’
    • ‘They should also take care of maintaining vacant lots.’
    • ‘She's tired of calling Public Works to get someone to clean vacant lots or haul away abandoned cars that line nearby streets.’
    • ‘Then we come to the present situation where there are only six lots which are vacant and we look at the sales that are attracted there.’
    • ‘You see them all over New York - narrow vacant lots with the outlines of the old building etched on the walls of its neighbors.’
    • ‘Signs on vacant lots are legal if you have the owner's permission, but not on public right-of-ways.’
    • ‘We see them growing voluntarily in sand dunes and vacant lots, anywhere from two feet to five.’
    • ‘It was sheer luck that I stumbled upon an abandoned corner of the school's back lot which was hidden by bushes and trees.’
    • ‘The air smells of smoke from the campfires of squatters who live on vacant lots, next door to software executives and movie stars.’
    • ‘The government town of Moonta was surveyed in 1863 and town lots offered for sale in April of that year.’
    • ‘The new homes sit uneasily just blocks from row upon row of abandoned houses and garbage-strewn vacant lots.’
    • ‘Work on the lots near the stadium would begin this summer and could be completed by fall.’
    • ‘During the mapping, team members paid close attention to garbage in the streets, vacant lots, and alleys.’
    • ‘Very few villagers own lots of land large enough to be able to make a profit from selling their crops in the market.’
    • ‘As we developed the process to convert vacant lots to urban farm sites, supporting the local economy was a central theme.’
    • ‘The study excluded commercial properties and vacant lots from being part of the study sample.’
    • ‘Valleywood is the name that various builders dealt with when building lots on the lands were sold.’
    • ‘Some houses have boarded-up windows, and there are vacant lots strewn with litter and overgrown with weeds.’
    • ‘Being a girl, my only option was playing with the boys on vacant lots and in the street.’
    • ‘At the first land sales he was able to buy four town lots including the site of his hotel for $125.00.’
    • ‘When land is divided up into smaller parcels and lots, Sherwonit says, it threatens the park's integrity.’
    patch of ground, tract of land, allotment, piece of ground, plot, area, tract, acreage, parcel, building lot
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1
      short for parking lot
      • ‘"Sorry, Harry, but if I let you park in the executive lot, I'd be letting myself in for a lot of complaints from my other people."’
      • ‘It was snowing so hard you couldn't see your own hand in front of your face and he and his brother couldn't find their car in the lot.’
      • ‘I rolled down my window and asked him if this was the proper lot to park in.’
      • ‘I park in the adjacent lot, generally in a way not to offend or to disturb other clients of the store.’
      • ‘The few times I drive to work, I usually park in the cheap lot just a hop skip and a jump from there.’
      • ‘The doors had been locked and there were no other cars in the lot.’
    2. 5.2 An area of land near a television or movie studio where outside filming may be done.
      • ‘Groups of 12 are escorted onto the studio lot via carts, for a very exclusive tour through backlot streets, sound stages, sets and craft shops.’
      • ‘Production builders buy finished lots a block at a time, which gives them enough room for efficient staging and production.’
      • ‘A busy day, most of it spent running back and forth across the studio lot chasing up actors.’
      • ‘Any time a scene takes place on a movie lot, there are always dozens of extras running around dressed as cowboys and ancient Romans.’
      • ‘Joe shows up at a number of studio lots and former homes of The King and tells a side of the story that, mostly, has never really been heard before.’
      • ‘It is rare when his abandoned streets and empty shops feel like back lots or sound stages.’
      • ‘I used to work for Sony Pictures and enjoyed visiting the studio lot at lunch time.’
    3. 5.3 The area at a car dealership where cars for sale are kept.
      • ‘I really do not like used car lots, never have, never will.’
      • ‘I saw him a few times around the used car lot, you know.’

verblots, lotted, lotting

[with object]
  • Divide (items) into lots for sale at an auction.

    ‘the contents have already been lotted up, and the auction takes place on Monday’
    • ‘The Auctioneers reserve the right to collect the appropriate lotting fee with the entry form.’
    • ‘As a result, we have seen a much greater tendency towards the lotting of a property as this allows the market to cater for bids from both types of buyer and hence maximise values.’
    • ‘As material is received, it is lotted into homogeneous groups.’
    • ‘Items can be moved around and placed in order of lotting before being moved into auction’
    • ‘The major components of this system are zoning, site plan review and lotting or subdivision of land.’
    • ‘All property is lotted, photographed and described in a full-color catalogue published prior to the auction in which the property is offered.’
    • ‘The following section outlines a system for conducting electronic auctions with aggregate lotting for transformation bidding.’
    • ‘Similar items should be lotted together when the return for individual items is too low to warrant an individual offering or when it is determined that lotting together will enhance the property.’

Usage

The expressions a lot of and lots of are used before nouns to mean “a large number or amount of”. In common with other words denoting quantities, lot itself does not normally function as a head noun, meaning that it does not itself determine whether the following verb is singular or plural. Thus, although lot is singular in a lot of people, the verb that follows is not singular. In this case the word people acts as the head noun and, being plural, ensures that the following verb is also plural: a lot of people were assembled (not a lot of people was assembled). See also number. A lot of and lots of are very common in speech and writing but they still have a distinctly informal feel and are generally not considered acceptable for formal English, where alternatives such as many or a large number are used instead. Written as one word alot is incorrect, although not uncommon

Phrases

  • all over the lot

    • informal In a state of confusion or disorganization.

      • ‘Scientists are all over the lot on the question, and the issue is so hot politically that it's difficult to trust the science.’
      • ‘I'm just a normal guy, got a job to do, and my emotions were all over the lot.’
      • ‘Howard, I think you're all over the lot on this issue.’
      • ‘So the Supreme Court is just all over the lot on this.’
      • ‘I mean, the families are all over the lot over this.’
      • ‘Since one-year results of stock indices jump all over the lot, let's look at five-year annualised returns.’
      • ‘Now legal scholars are also all over the lot, finding all sorts of reasons why the Constitution doesn't really mean what it says.’
      • ‘The polls have been inconsistent and all over the lot, with the methodology of some coming under attack.’
      • ‘Further complicating the current picture is the fact that prices vary all over the lot.’
      • ‘Conclusions about global warming are all over the lot, he notes.’
      disordered, disorderly, untidy, disorganized, messy, chaotic, jumbled, muddled, confused, unsystematic, irregular, cluttered, littered
      in disorder, in a muddle, in a jumble, in disarray, in a disorganized manner, untidily, haphazardly, indiscriminately, in a mess, in confusion, in a heap, anyhow, any old how, pell-mell, topsy-turvy
      View synonyms
  • draw (or cast) lots

    • Decide by lot.

      ‘we drew lots to decide the order’
      • ‘He worked on the escape team and when the time came to go they drew lots for places.’
      • ‘I and my sister drew lots to decide which one of us would stay at home and look after the children and which one would go out and find work.’
      • ‘Legal judgments have sometimes emphasised the fairness of drawing lots to decide matters of life and death.’
      • ‘He explained that the designers cast lots to decide the participants in the five-day prêt-à-porter.’
      • ‘As these two young men had been in my platoon it was decided that we would draw lots.’
      • ‘We hastily drew lots and David got the ‘short straw’.’
      • ‘At each meeting they cast lots (men and women equally) to decide who should be priest, bishop or prophet for the day.’
      • ‘Each year the school chooses a May King and Queen and their attendants by asking for volunteers and then drawing lots to decide who gets the parts.’
      • ‘The contenders could draw lots, or, failing that, toss a coin.’
      • ‘Depending on how much competition there is we may have to draw lots.’
      decide randomly, spin a coin, toss a coin, throw dice, draw straws, cut straws, decide on the toss of a coin, decide on the throw of a die, dice, decide on the drawing of straws
      View synonyms
  • fall to someone's lot

    • Become someone's task or responsibility.

      ‘they accepted the burden of domestic responsibilities that fell to their lot’
      • ‘Much more could be said, but my time is taken up in other work that falls to my lot in my regular business.’
      • ‘It did not fall to his lot to introduce these measures but he helped pass both of them.’
      • ‘It fell to my lot, much to my gratification, to be assigned to the Plumas Forest in California.’
      • ‘It usually falls to my lot to say grace at our family Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.’
      • ‘It fell to my lot in my twenties to teach ‘creativity’ to a few unfortunate students.’
      • ‘It also fell to my lot to oversee the publication of books as well.’
      • ‘In this section the rights and duties which thus fall to his lot will be briefly enumerated.’
      • ‘I stated to him that I was ready to do any work that might fall to my lot or that I might be called to do.’
      • ‘Her single-minded approach to the tasks which fell to her lot, did not impinge in any way on the warmth of her personality.’
      • ‘My wife was cook and mother of all, and it fell to her lot to see that all rules were faithfully observed.’
  • throw in one's lot with

    • Decide to ally oneself closely with and share the fate of (a person or group).

      • ‘In 1921, she finally threw in her lot with the Liberals, running as a candidate for the party.’
      • ‘Thus far in Australia, we have decided not to throw in our lot with an aristocratic judiciary.’
      • ‘If he throws in his lot with the militants, we will be plunged into a welter of violence for the foreseeable future.’
      • ‘This also applied to Ireland, and several hundred young men went to Spain to throw in their lot with one side or the other.’
      • ‘She yearned intensely to throw in her lot with us for life and yet she was inhibited by subconscious fear.’
      • ‘They call off the wedding amiably and Susan decides to throw in her lot with the Harvey girls.’
      • ‘He also found that historical circumstances forced him to throw in his lot with the poor.’
      • ‘When things didn't happen for me, I took the advice of my family and decided to throw in my lot with Ireland.’
      • ‘The five dairy co-op shareholders decided to throw in their lot with Philip at the end of the day.’
      • ‘In 1779 Spain officially threw in her lot with the American revolutionaries and attacked British West Florida.’
      join forces with, join up with, form an alliance with, ally with, align oneself with, link up with, go into league with, combine with, join fortunes with, make common cause with
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English hlot (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lot, German Los. The original meanings were lot (sense 3 of the noun) and (by extension) the sense ‘a portion assigned to someone’; the latter gave rise to the other noun senses. The pronoun and adverb uses date from the early 19th century.

Pronunciation

lot

/lät//lɑt/

Main definitions of lot in US English:

: lot1Lot2Lot3

Lot2

proper noun

  • A river in southern France that flows 300 miles (480 km) west to meet the Garonne River southeast of Bordeaux.

Pronunciation

Lot

/lät/

Main definitions of lot in US English:

: lot1Lot2Lot3

Lot3

proper noun

  • (in the Bible) the nephew of Abraham, who was allowed to escape from the destruction of Sodom. His wife, who disobeyed orders and looked back, was turned into a pillar of salt.

Pronunciation

Lot

/lɑt//lät/