put somebody on the spot

put (one) on the spot

To force one to do something instantaneously, often causing them unease or embarrassment. My kids always try to put me on the spot with requests, knowing that I'm less likely to turn them down in front of their friends' parents. When the boss put me on the spot in the meeting today, I wasn't prepared to answer his question and ended up babbling like a fool.
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put somebody on the ˈspot

put somebody in a difficult position, perhaps by asking them a difficult or embarrassing question: Her question about my future plans really put me on the spot.
See also: on, put, somebody, spot
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