- a petty quarrel.
- a light blow; slap; smack.
- to engage in a petty quarrel or dispute.
- to splash or spatter; rain spatting against the window.
- to strike lightly; slap.
Origin of spat1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a simple past tense and past participle of spit1.
- a short gaiter worn over the instep and usually fastened under the foot with a strap, worn especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Origin of spat3
- the spawn of an oyster or similar shellfish.
- young oysters collectively.
- a young oyster.
- seed oyster.
Origin of spat4
- to eject saliva from the mouth; expectorate.
- to express hatred, contempt, etc., by or as if by ejecting saliva from the mouth.
- to sputter: grease spitting on the fire.
- to fall in scattered drops or flakes, as rain or snow.
- to eject from the mouth: The children were spitting watermelon seeds over the fence.
- to throw out or emit like saliva: The kettle spits boiling water over the stove.
- to set a flame to.
- saliva, especially when ejected.
- the act of spitting.
- Entomology. Also called spittle. the frothy secretion exuded by spittlebugs.
- a light fall of rain or snow.
- spit up, to vomit; throw up: The wounded soldier spat up blood. If you jostle the baby, she'll spit up.
- spit and image, Informal. exact likeness; counterpart: Hunched over his desk, pen in hand, he was the spit and image of his father at work.Also spitting image, spit 'n' image.
Origin of spit1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a pointed rod or bar for thrusting through and holding meat that is to be cooked before or over a fire.
- any of various rods, pins, or the like used for particular purposes.
- a narrow point of land projecting into the water.
- a long, narrow shoal extending from the shore.
- to pierce, stab, or transfix, as with a spit; impale on something sharp.
- to thrust a spit into or through.
Origin of spit2
Examples from the Web for spat
Upstairs, in the living room, splintered logs of hemlock cackled and spat from inside the wood stove.Dungeons and Genital Clamps: Inside a Legendary BDSM Chateau
December 20, 2014
They kicked and fought and spat and succeeded in repeatedly filling their opponents with fear.Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage
October 16, 2014
He licked them up with a slick bronzy tongue and spat a thick wad of honey-brown juice into the empty teacup.Short Stories from The Daily Beast: Four Hundred Grand
July 6, 2014
The two spat back and forth, with Allen bringing up Hopkins' affair with a married colleague.Who Pays For Michelle Obama's Clothing?; Scout Willis Speaks Out Regarding Topless Photos
The Fashion Beast Team
June 2, 2014
But some people took it as if I had spat on the Koran or something.The Prodigious Roddy Doyle Is the Celtic Tiger of Irish Literature
March 17, 2014
Roland spat out a mouthful of dust and swore beneath his breath.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Do you think that if I spat upon him, I could degrade him to a lower level than his own?Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
At first I only felt bad between the shoulders and spat up some froth.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
"They cost seven and six," he muttered, regarding the one spat wistfully.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
Her words evidently annoyed him and he frowned angrily and spat.Master and Man
- rare a slap or smack
- a slight quarrel
- rare to slap (someone)
- (intr) US, Canadian and NZ to have a slight quarrel
- a past tense and past participle of spit 1
- another name for gaiter (def. 2)
- a larval oyster or similar bivalve mollusc, esp when it settles to the sea bottom and starts to develop a shell
- such oysters or other molluscs collectively
- (intr) to expel saliva from the mouth; expectorate
- (intr) informal to show disdain or hatred by spitting
- (of a fire, hot fat, etc) to eject (fragments of coal, sparks, etc) violently and with an explosive sound; splutter
- (intr) to rain very lightly
- (tr often foll by out) to eject or discharge (something) from the mouthhe spat the food out; to spit blood
- (tr often foll by out) to utter (short sharp words or syllables), esp in a violent manner
- spit chips Australian slang to be very angryAlso (NZ): spit tacks
- spit it out! British informal a command given to someone that he should speak forthwith
- a pointed rod on which meat is skewered and roasted before or over an open fire
- Also called: rotisserie, rotating spit a similar device rotated by electricity or clockwork, fitted onto a cooker
- an elongated often hooked strip of sand or shingle projecting from the shore, deposited by longshore drift, and usually above water
- (tr) to impale on or transfix with or as if with a spit
- the depth of earth cut by a spade; a spade's depth
Word Origin and History for spat
"petty quarrel," 1804, American English, of unknown origin; perhaps somehow imitative (cf. spat "smack, slap," attested from 1823).
"expel saliva," Old English spittan (Anglian), spætan (West Saxon), from PIE *sp(y)eu-, of imitative origin (see spew). Not the usual Old English word for this; spætlan (see spittle) and spiwan (see spew) are more common. Meaning "to eject saliva (at someone or something) as a gesture of contempt" is in Old English.
"sharp-pointed rod on which meat is roasted," Old English spitu, from Proto-Germanic *spituz (cf. Middle Dutch spit, Swedish spett, Old High German spiz, German Spieß "spit," German spitz "pointed"), from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)). This is also the source of the word meaning "sandy point" (1670s). Old French espois, Spanish espeto "spit" are Germanic loan-words. The verb meaning "to put on a spit" is recorded from c.1200.
"saliva," c.1300, from spit (v.). Meaning "the very likeness" is attested from c.1600 (e.g. spitting image, attested from 1901); cf. French craché in same sense. Military phrase spit and polish first recorded 1895.