There are 4 main definitions of dot in English:


Line breaks: dot
Pronunciation: /dɒt


1A small round mark or spot: a symbol depicted in coloured 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 small round mark written or printed as part of an i or j, as one of a series of marks to signify omission, or as a full stop.
More 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 small round mark used to denote the lengthening of a note or rest by half, or to indicate staccato.
More 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).
More 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: they were mere dots on the horizon now
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: OUP 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.
spot, fleck, bespeckle, mark, dab, stipple, pock, freckle, sprinkle, dust
literary befleck, bestrew, besprinkle
1.1(Of a number of items) be scattered over (an area): churches dot the countryside (be dotted) there appear to be a number of airfields dotted about
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?
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 minim
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.
2British informal Hit (someone): ‘You want to dot him one,’ he said
More example sentences
  • I probably would have dotted him one by this stage.


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.


dot the i's and cross the t's

informal Ensure that all details are correct: I just have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on my dissertation
More 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

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.
precisely, exactly, sharp, prompt, to the minute, on the nail;
dead on, on the stroke of …;
informal bang on, spot on
North American informal on the button, on the nose
Australian/New Zealand informal on the knocker

the year dot

British informal A very long time ago: that wallpaper has been there since the year dot
More example sentences
  • I had a rugby ball in my hand since the year dot, so it was always going to be the only sport I would be interested in,’ he said.
  • Relationships have been around since the year dot and despite the increasing breakdown of long term ones, there is no evidence that men and women are going to give up the biological and psychological act of looking for love.
  • From next spring sweeping changes look set to be made to York's chaotic bus network that First York bosses are describing as the biggest revolution in public transport in the city since almost the year dot.



More example sentences
  • I've heard stories about ‘i dotters’ crying when they get their shot.

Definition of dot in:

There are 4 main definitions of dot in English:


Line breaks: DoT


1(In Canada and formerly in the UK) Department of Transport.
1.1(In the US) Department of Transportation.