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[spit-l] /ˈspɪt l/
saliva; spit.
Entomology. the frothy secretion exuded by spittlebugs.
Origin of spittle
1470-80; blend of Middle English spit (noun) (see spit1) and spetil, Old English spǣtl, variant of spātl saliva Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spittle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Or again, a man ejects the spittle from his mouth as far as possible.

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
  • He gathered the spittle in his mouth and spat full in Strickland's face.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • And again, in the air, before it could fall to the snow, the spittle crackled.

    Lost Face Jack London
  • The spittle referred to is the foam at the edge of the water.

  • One must put the hand on the middle of the breast and rub on spittle with the hand, they say.

  • Would you not also have thought of the plan—to bite it off, and stick it on again with spittle?

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • A servant is something to absorb the spittle of their irritability.

    Clair de Lune

    Michael Strange
  • He was a good marksman even with spittle, and the dog fled, whining.

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
British Dictionary definitions for spittle


the fluid secreted in the mouth; saliva or spit
Also called cuckoo spit, frog spit. the frothy substance secreted on plants by the larvae of certain froghoppers
Word Origin
Old English spǣtl saliva; see spit1
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 spittle

late 15c., "saliva, spit," probably an alteration (by influence of spit (v.)) of Old English spætl, spatl, from Proto-Germanic *spætlan, which is related to Old English spætan "to spit."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spittle in Medicine

spittle spit·tle (spĭt'l)
Spit; saliva.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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