[ ik-spek-tuh-reyt ]
/ ɪkˈspɛk təˌreɪt /

verb (used without object), ex·pec·to·rat·ed, ex·pec·to·rat·ing.

to eject or expel matter, as phlegm, from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting; spit.

verb (used with object), ex·pec·to·rat·ed, ex·pec·to·rat·ing.

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

OTHER WORDS FROM expectorate

ex·pec·to·ra·tor, nounun·ex·pec·to·rat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expectorate

British Dictionary definitions for expectorate

/ (ɪkˈspɛktəˌreɪt) /


to cough up and spit out (sputum from the respiratory passages)

Derived forms of expectorate

expectoration, nounexpectorator, noun

Word Origin for expectorate

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

Medicine definitions for expectorate

[ ĭk-spĕktə-rāt′ ]


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.

Other words from expectorate

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