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[ik-spek-tuh-reyt] /ɪkˈspɛk təˌreɪt/
verb (used without object), expectorated, expectorating.
to eject or expel matter, as phlegm, from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting; spit.
verb (used with object), expectorated, expectorating.
to eject or expel (matter) in this way.
Origin of expectorate
1595-1605; < Latin expectorātus (past participle of expectorāre to expel from the breast), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + pector- (stem of pectus) breast + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
expectorator, noun
unexpectorated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for expectorate


to cough up and spit out (sputum from the respiratory passages)
Derived Forms
expectoration, noun
expectorator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin expectorāre, literally: to drive from the breast, expel, from pectus breast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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expectorate in Medicine

expectorate ex·pec·to·rate (ĭk-spěk'tə-rāt')
v. ex·pec·to·rat·ed, ex·pec·to·rat·ing, ex·pec·to·rates

  1. To eject saliva, mucus, or other body fluid from the mouth; spit.

  2. To clear out the chest and lungs by coughing up and spitting out matter.

ex·pec'to·ra'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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