expectorate, spit

 The distinction between these two is not, it must be conceded, often a matter of great moment, but still it is worth noting that there is a distinction. To spit means to expel saliva; to expectorate is to dredge up and expel phlegm from the lungs. Expectorate therefore is not just an unnecessary euphemism for spit, but it is usually an incorrect one.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • expectorate, spit —    The distinction between these two is not, it must be conceded, often a matter of great moment, but still it is worth noting that there is a distinction. To spit means to expel saliva; to expectorate is to dredge up and expel phlegm from the… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • spit — spit1 [spit] n. [ME spite < OE spitu, akin to OHG spizzi, sharp: for IE base see SPIKE1] 1. a thin, pointed rod or bar on which meat is impaled for broiling or roasting over a fire or before other direct heat 2. a narrow point of land, or a… …   English World dictionary

  • expectorate — [ek spek′tə rāt΄, ikspek′tə rāt΄] vt., vi. expectorated, expectorating [< L expectoratus, pp. of expectorare, to expel from the breast < ex , out + pectus (gen. pectoris), breast] 1. to cough up and spit out (phlegm, mucus, etc.) 2. to spit …   English World dictionary

  • spit — [n] saliva discharge, dribble, drool, slaver, spittle, sputum, water; concept 467 spit [v] eject saliva or substance discharge, drool, expectorate, hawk, hiss, sibilate, sizz, slobber, spatter, spew, splutter, spritz, sputter, throw out; concepts …   New thesaurus

  • Expectorate — Ex*pec to*rate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Expectorated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Expectorating}.] [L. expecrorare to drive from the breast; ex out + pectus, pectiris, breast. See {Pectoral}.] To eject from the trachea or lungs; to discharge, as phlegm or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Expectorate — Ex*pec to*rate, v. i. To discharge matter from the lungs or throat by hawking and spitting; to spit. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • expectorate — (v.) c.1600, to clear out the chest or lungs, from L. expectoratus, pp. of expectorare scorn, expel from the mind, lit. make a clean breast, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + pectus (gen. pectoris) breast (see PECTORAL (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • expectorate — ► VERB ▪ cough or spit out (phlegm) from the throat or lungs. DERIVATIVES expectoration noun. ORIGIN Latin expectorare expel from the chest …   English terms dictionary

  • spit up — verb 1. give reluctantly He coughed up some money for his children s tuition • Syn: ↑cough up, ↑pony up • Hypernyms: ↑give • Verb Frames: Somebody s something …   Useful english dictionary

  • spit out — verb 1. spit up in an explosive manner (Freq. 2) • Syn: ↑splutter, ↑sputter • Hypernyms: ↑expectorate, ↑cough up, ↑cough out, ↑spit up …   Useful english dictionary

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