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 funMore example sentences
a large amount, a fair amount, a good/great deal, a deal, a great quantity, quantities, an abundance, a wealth, a profusion, plenty, masses; many, a great many, a large number, a considerable number, numerous, scores, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions• informal loads, loadsa, heaps, a pile, piles, oodles, stacks, scads, reams, wads, pots, oceans, a mountain, mountains, miles, tons, zillions, gazillions, more … than one can shake a stick atBritish • informal a shedload, lashingsAustralian/New Zealand • informal a swag• vulgar slang a shitloadNorth American • vulgar slang an assload
- "I don't think a lot is happening with that, particularly around here, " she noted.
- We're in a lot of trouble.
- I told you last night, I've got a lot on my mind.
- 1.1 (the lot or the whole lot) The whole number or quantity that is involved or implied: you might as well take the whole lotMore example sentences
- People like you with tiny pension funds were allowed to take the whole lot in cash at any time after 50.
- The whole lot fitted into a sort of tray which went across the bath within easy reach.
- In terms of footballing credentials, O'Leary has got the lot.
adverb(a lot or lots) • informal Back to top
- A great deal; much: he played tennis a lot last year thanks a lotMore example sentences
- I think you'll be able to deal with your feelings a lot better than before.
- At the end of the day, what actors really want to do is act a lot and not wait around in the trailer.
- They told me to brush my teeth lots while my mouth is recovering.
nounBack to top
- 1 [treated as singular or plural] • informal A particular group or set of people or things: it’s just one lot of rich people stealing from another he will need a second lot of tills to handle the second currencyMore example sentences
- Incredibly, this second lot of inmates are even more tedious and uninteresting than the first.
- 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.
- 1.1 [with adjective] chiefly British A group of a specified kind (used in a derogatory or dismissive way): an inefficient lot, our CouncilMore example sentences
- We had a lot of mail from you lot about the wisdom of mixing phones and petrol stations.
- Voters are seen as a strange and volatile lot, who could turn bad at the blink of an eye.
- There is lots of drek out there from signed bands and this lot do quite a bit with what they have.
- 2An item or set of items for sale at an auction: nineteen lots failed to sellMore example sentences
- Parts of that department were now laid out in crates on the car deck, lots to be sold off in the auction.
- It is notable, for instance, that the recent silver sale at Bonhams had just half the number of lots of the 2003 sale.
- The second lot is a collection of 302 photographs, purchased for £2,500, from Emily Shackleton's family album.
- 3 [mass noun] The making of a decision by random selection, especially by a method involving the choice of one from a number of pieces of folded paper, one of which has a concealed mark: officers were elected rather than selected by lotMore example sentences
- The tickets were allocated by lot, those who received them were not the worthiest.
- If this is the standard of fare to be served up by the top six, cynics might say it would be better if the final positions were drawn by lot.
- If the last hand was blocked, then the lead is determined by lot again.
- 3.1 [in singular] The choice resulting from deciding something by lot: eventually the lot fell on the King’s daughterMore example sentences
- The first who put in his hand was the Admiral, and he drew out the bean with a cross, so the lot fell on him; and he was bound to go on the pilgrimage and fulfil the vow.
- The lot fell on Matthias, and a place among the eleven Apostles was voted to him.
- A group of workmen decide to kill Carson, as a warning to his class, and the lot falls on Barton to do the deed.
- 4 [in singular] A person’s luck, situation, or destiny in life: schemes to improve the lot of the disadvantagedMore example sentences
- She is actually very happy and content with her lot!
- She often felt like she had been punished for a reason and that punishment was her lot in life.
- She worked full time as a weaver to put food on the table and cared for three of us without lamenting her lot.
- 5chiefly North American A plot of land assigned for sale or for a particular use: a vacant lotMore example sentences
- 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.
- The government town of Moonta was surveyed in 1863 and town lots offered for sale in April of that year.
- At the first land sales he was able to buy four town lots including the site of his hotel for $125.00.
- 5.1 short for parking lot.More example sentences
- The doors had been locked and there were no other cars in the lot.
- 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 park in the adjacent lot, generally in a way not to offend or to disturb other clients of the store.
- 5.2An area of land near a film studio where outside filming may be done.More example sentences
- Any time a scene takes place on a movie lot, there are always dozens of extras running around dressed as cowboys and ancient Romans.
- It is rare when his abandoned streets and empty shops feel like back lots or sound stages.
- Production builders buy finished lots a block at a time, which gives them enough room for efficient staging and production.
- 5.3The area at a car dealership where cars for sale are kept.More example sentences
- 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.
verb (lots, lotting, lotted)[with object] Back to top
- Divide (items) into lots for sale at an auction: the contents have already been lotted up, and the auction takes place on MondayMore example sentences
- 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.
- The major components of this system are zoning, site plan review and lotting or subdivision of land.
- The following section outlines a system for conducting electronic auctions with aggregate lotting for transformation bidding.
all over the lot
- US • informal In a disorganized or confused state: the president has been all over the lot on this issue latelyMore example sentences
- So the Supreme Court is just all over the lot on this.
- The polls have been inconsistent and all over the lot, with the methodology of some coming under attack.
- Scientists are all over the lot on the question, and the issue is so hot politically that it's difficult to trust the science.
a bad lot
- British • informal A dishonest person.More example sentences
- He said: ‘You are going to tell children, ‘Your dad is a bad lot but we are going to make you different from him’.
- As he will attest, even if you don't have the bad luck to move next door to a bad lot, there is still no guarantee that island life is going to be any easier than the grindstone-nosing existence that you left behind.
- You can think somebody is a bad lot, but you have to treat that person equally.
draw (or cast) lots
- Decide by lot: we drew lots to decide the orderMore example sentences
- 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.
- As these two young men had been in my platoon it was decided that we would draw lots.
- Legal judgments have sometimes emphasised the fairness of drawing lots to decide matters of life and death.
fall to someone's lot
- Become someone’s task or responsibility: they accepted the burden of domestic responsibilities that fell to their lotMore example sentences
- Her single-minded approach to the tasks which fell to her lot, did not impinge in any way on the warmth of her personality.
- It also fell to my lot to oversee the publication of books as well.
- It fell to my lot in my twenties to teach ‘creativity’ to a few unfortunate students.
throw in one's lot with
- Decide to ally oneself closely with and share the fate of (a person or group): the bourgeoisie had thrown in its lot with the monarchyMore example sentences
- The five dairy co-op shareholders decided to throw in their lot with Philip at the end of the day.
- When things didn't happen for me, I took the advice of my family and decided to throw in my lot with Ireland.
- They call off the wedding amiably and Susan decides to throw in her lot with the Harvey girls.
Old English hlot (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lot, German Los. The original meanings were 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.
1 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 which 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 (usage)2 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.3 Written as one word alot is incorrect, although not uncommon.