on the spot

on the spot
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.

* * *
{adv.} or {adj. phr.} 1. or[upon the spot] At that exact time and at the same time or place; without waiting or leaving. * /The news of important events is often broadcast on the spot over television./ * /When Tom ruined an expensive machine, his boss fired him on the spot./ Compare: AT ONCE, IN ONE'S TRACKS, THEN AND THERE. 2. {informal} also[in a spot] In trouble, difficulty, or embarrassment. * /Mr. Jones is on the spot because he cannot pay back the money he borrowed./ * /Bill is on the spot; he invited George to visit him, but Bill's parents said no./ Compare: BACK TO THE WALL. 3. {slang} In danger of murder; named or listed for death. * /After he talked to the police, the gangsters put him on the spot./

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

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