There are 3 main definitions of dot in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

dot1

Syllabification: dot
Pronunciation: /dät
 
/

noun

1A small round mark or spot: a symbol depicted in colored dots
More example sentences
  • Cells marked with similar colored dots moved collectively in the same direction forming domain-like structures on the collagen gel.
  • These also serve well as night sights with three tritium round dots, one on each side of the rear notch and one in the face of the front sight.
  • Mark the point that these two lines intersect with a piece of tape or a round dot.
1.1A dot written or printed as part of an i or j, as a diacritical mark, as one of a series of marks to signify omission, or as a period.
Example sentences
  • The other two have a few sentences that trail off with a series of dots.
  • A dot written under a vowel means that the word should be pronounced with a voice that starts low, drops a little bit lower, and is then cut off abruptly.
  • This dedication contains 144 letters and is oddly written with dots between each letter.
1.2 Music A dot used to denote the lengthening of a note or rest by half, or to indicate staccato.
Example sentences
  • A dotted half note has a dot behind it to make it three beats not two beats.
  • A dot after a note ordinarily meant that it was half as long again as its normal value, but otherwise it simply signified that the notes on either side were irregular in some way. 5.
  • Does it have a second dot or a rest after the first?
1.3The shorter signal of the two used in Morse code. Compare with dash (sense 3) of the noun).
Example sentences
  • Today, when we think of telegraphs we think of electric telegraphs, we think of wires and Morse code and dots and dashes and telegrams and that sort of thing.
  • Morse Code uses a series of dots and dashes to transmit and receive messages.
  • Perhaps the most famous coding is Morse Code, which converts letters of the alphabet into series of dots and dashes.
1.4Used to refer to an object that appears tiny because it is far away: the desert shrank figures to mere dots
More example sentences
  • People appeared as tiny black dots in the grainy, blurred footage, and there seem to be about two dozen in the alley, although it is difficult to determine the exact number.
  • Finally, tiny dots of campfires appeared in the distance.
  • Against the starry backdrop about a dozen or so tiny, cone-like dots appeared, and buzzed around the wreckage.
1.5Used to indicate the punctuation separating parts of an email or website address: drop me a note at heatvision dot com
More example sentences
  • Another time I wasn't redirected, so I was on the US based regular straight-up dot org site.
  • Domain names have at least two parts, separated by a dot or period.
  • His site is Friends of Cayman dot org, a site dedicated to the repair and reconstruction of badly damaged homes on Grand Cayman.

verb (dots, dotting, dotted)

[with object] Back to top  
1Mark with a small spot or spots: wet spots of rain began to dot his shirt
More example sentences
  • By six the predicted rain began to dot the windows.
  • Hypericum's leaves are dotted with translucent spots, making it appear perforated.
  • Younger, newer roots are dotted with small reddish-brown spots.
Synonyms
spot, fleck, mark, stipple, freckle, sprinkle
literary bestrew, besprinkle
1.1(Of a number of items) be scattered over (an area): churches dot the countryside
More example sentences
  • Various Catholic and Protestant churches dotted the area as well.
  • The route soon turns into hairpin bends where the area is dotted with tea estates.
  • What options face the smaller churches that dot the landscape of North America?
Synonyms
scatter, pepper, sprinkle, strew
1.2Place a dot over (a letter): you need to dot the i
More example sentences
  • How you connect letters, how you dot the ‘i’ and cross the ‘t’ all says something about you.
  • I mainly scribbled and doodled his name in bubble letters with little hearts dotting the i's.
  • She doesn't look up; I watch the pen jab the paper with each letter she dots and crosses.
1.3 Music Mark (a note or rest) to show that the time value is increased by half: (as adjective dotted) a dotted quarter note
More example sentences
  • A dotted half note has a dot behind it to make it three beats not two beats.
  • It contains a recurring rhythm of sixteenth, dotted sixteenth and thirty-second notes that is difficult to discern.
  • Together with the consistent use of dotted and syncopated rhythms they become hallmarks of Skalkottas's musical language.

Origin

Old English dott 'head of a boil'. The word is recorded only once in Old English, then not until the late 16th century, when it is found in the sense 'a small lump or clot', perhaps influenced by Dutch dot 'a knot'. The sense 'small mark or spot' dates from the mid 17th century.

More
  • The word dot appears only once in Old English manuscripts, meaning ‘the head of a boil’. It then disappears until the late 16th century, when it re-emerges in the sense ‘a small lump or clot’. The sense ‘small mark or spot’ dates from the mid-17th century. In on the dot, ‘exactly on time’, the dot is one appearing on a clock face to mark the hour. Writers and printers sometimes use a dot in place of a number or letter that they do not know or do not want to specify, and this may be the origin of the year dot, ‘a very long time ago’—the dot could also be a zero.

Phrases

dot the i's and cross the t's

1
informal Ensure that all details are correct.
Example sentences
  • He also told us last week that they just needed to dot the i's and cross the t's to complete their takeover but now he's saying the creditors' meeting won't take place until at least September.
  • I still think the military procurement system needs more flexibility - but it also needs to be managed by competent staffs with the capability to dot the i's and cross the t's of their contracts.
  • I didn't do much at work apart from filling out my appraisal as there is pressure to dot the i's and cross the t's as redundancy stalks the office for the SEVENTH time in 3 years.

on the dot

2
informal Exactly on time: he arrived on the dot at nine o’clock
More example sentences
  • He arrived right on the dot at 7.30 pm - and saw the empty seat.
  • Last Thursday Campbell arrived as usual on the dot of 8.30.
  • He arrives on the dot, his tall, dark-haired, slightly rakish figure hurrying up Petergate through the crowds.
Synonyms

Derivatives

dotter

1
noun
Example sentences
  • I've heard stories about ‘i dotters’ crying when they get their shot.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 3 main definitions of dot in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

dot2

Syllabification: dot
Pronunciation: /dät
 
/

noun

archaic
A dowry, particularly one from which only the interest or annual income was available to the husband.

Origin

from French, from Latin dos, dot- 'dowry' (see dower).

More
  • The word dot appears only once in Old English manuscripts, meaning ‘the head of a boil’. It then disappears until the late 16th century, when it re-emerges in the sense ‘a small lump or clot’. The sense ‘small mark or spot’ dates from the mid-17th century. In on the dot, ‘exactly on time’, the dot is one appearing on a clock face to mark the hour. Writers and printers sometimes use a dot in place of a number or letter that they do not know or do not want to specify, and this may be the origin of the year dot, ‘a very long time ago’—the dot could also be a zero.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

There are 3 main definitions of dot in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

DOT3

Syllabification: DOT

abbreviation

Department of Transportation.

Definition of dot in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.