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1. To cover something so that it cannot be seen or read. Be sure to blot out all the other names on this list before you put it in the employee's file.
2. To prevent something from being noticeable or entering one's awareness. Your curtains aren't opaque enough to blot out all of the sunlight.
3. To avoid thinking about something, often because it is stressful or traumatic. Many trauma victims try to blot out the horrific things that have happened to them.
4. To kill someone. Ray blotted out the informant, just as the boss told him to.
5. To completely destroy something. This illness threatens to blot out an entire generation. The fire blotted out all of our belongings.
blot someone or something out
Fig. to forget someone or something by covering up memories or by trying to forget. I try to blot those bad thoughts out. I tried to blot out those unhappy days.
blot someone out
Sl. to kill someone. (Originally underworld slang.) Sorry, chum, we got orders to blot you out. The gang blotted out the only living witness before the trial.
blot something out
to make something invisible by covering it. (See also blot someone or something out.) Don't blot the name out on the application form. Who blotted out the name on this form?
blot out somethingalso blot something out
to make something stop upsetting you I twist the pillow over my head to blot out the horrible sounds. She closed her eyes, trying to blot out the memory of the day's events.Related vocabulary: block out something
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of blot (to cover something with drops of ink)
Obliterate, wipe out of existence or memory, as in At least one Indian nation was blotted out as the pioneers moved west, or The trauma of the accident blotted out all her memory of recent events. This idiom, first recorded in 1516, uses the verb to blot in the sense of making something illegible by spotting or staining it with ink. The New Testament has it (Acts 3:19): "Repent ye ... that your sins may be blotted out."