on the spot


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on the spot

 
1. Lit. at exactly the right place; at exactly the right time. It's noon, and I'm glad you're all here on the spot. Now we can begin. I expect you to be on the spot when and where trouble arises.
2. Fig. in trouble; in a difficult situation. There is a problem in the department I manage, and I'm really on the spot. I hate to be on the spot when it's not my fault.
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on the spot

1. in the place where something has just happened Police arrested the robber on the spot.
2. immediately Huge numbers of people donated blood on the spot. We fell in love with the puppy and bought him on the spot.
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on the spot

 
1. immediately If you're caught without a ticket, you're fined on the spot. We asked for the money and he paid us on the spot.
2. in the place where something is happening or has just happened The police were called and they were on the spot within three minutes.
3. if you run or turn on the spot, you do it without moving away from the place where you are I ran on the spot for ten minutes to warm myself up.
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on the spot

1. At once, without delay, as in When the boss learned Tom had been lying, he fired him on the spot. This usage suggests that one does not have time to move away from a particular spot. [Late 1600s]
2. At the scene of action, as in Whenever there's a bad accident or fire, you can be sure the station will have a reporter on the spot . This usage also employs spot in the sense of "a particular location." [Late 1600s]
3. Under pressure or in trouble, as in He's on the spot, because he can't pay back the loan. It is also phrased as put on the spot, meaning "put under pressure." For example, The reporter's question put her on the spot; she didn't want to lie or to admit her part in the scandal . [First half of 1900s]
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on the spot

1. Without delay; at once.
2. At the scene of action.
3. Under pressure or attention; in a pressed position.
See also: on, spot