- to eject or expel matter, as phlegm, from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting; spit.
- to eject or expel (matter) in this way.
Origin of expectorate
Examples from the Web for expectorate
So absorbed was his attention that he even forgot to expectorate.Original Short Stories of Maupassant, Volume 1
Guy de Maupassant
It is barbarous to expectorate in the temple of your faith, but that doubtless is an extreme case.Italian Hours
The throat is dry and irritated, and there is a constant desire to expectorate.Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field
Thomas W. Knox
So, if I have,—why the devil don't you say it at once, and expectorate your spleen?Life of Lord Byron, Vol. II
Seller (falls into a brown study, from which he at length emerges to tap the nearest ewe on the forehead and expectorate).Mr. Punch's Country Life
- to cough up and spit out (sputum from the respiratory passages)
Word Origin and History for expectorate
c.1600, "to clear out the chest or lungs," from Latin expectoratus, past participle of expectorare "scorn, expel from the mind," literally "make a clean breast," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pectus (genitive pectoris) "breast" (see pectoral (adj.)). Use as a euphemism for "spit" is first recorded 1827. Original sense in expectorant. Related: Expectorated; expectorating.
- To eject saliva, mucus, or other body fluid from the mouth; spit.
- To clear out the chest and lungs by coughing up and spitting out matter.