spat

1
[spat]
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verb (used without object), spat·ted, spat·ting.
  1. to engage in a petty quarrel or dispute.
  2. to splash or spatter; rain spatting against the window.
verb (used with object), spat·ted, spat·ting.
  1. to strike lightly; slap.

Origin of spat

1
An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805; perhaps imitative

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spat

2
[spat]
verb
  1. a simple past tense and past participle of spit1.

spat

3
[spat]
noun
  1. 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 spat

3
First recorded in 1795–1805; short for spatterdash

spat

4
[spat]
noun
  1. the spawn of an oyster or similar shellfish.
  2. young oysters collectively.
  3. a young oyster.
  4. seed oyster.

Origin of spat

4
1350–1400; Middle English; origin uncertain

spit

1
[spit]
verb (used without object), spit or spat, spit·ting.
  1. to eject saliva from the mouth; expectorate.
  2. to express hatred, contempt, etc., by or as if by ejecting saliva from the mouth.
  3. to sputter: grease spitting on the fire.
  4. to fall in scattered drops or flakes, as rain or snow.
verb (used with object), spit or spat, spit·ting.
  1. to eject from the mouth: The children were spitting watermelon seeds over the fence.
  2. to throw out or emit like saliva: The kettle spits boiling water over the stove.
  3. to set a flame to.
noun
  1. saliva, especially when ejected.
  2. the act of spitting.
  3. Entomology. Also called spittle. the frothy secretion exuded by spittlebugs.
  4. a light fall of rain or snow.
Verb Phrases
  1. spit up, to vomit; throw up: The wounded soldier spat up blood. If you jostle the baby, she'll spit up.
Idioms
  1. 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 spit

1
before 950; (v.) Middle English spitten, Old English spittan; cognate with German (dial.) spitzen to spit; akin to Old English spǣtan to spit, spātl spittle; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related formsspit·like, adjective

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spit

2
[spit]
noun
  1. a pointed rod or bar for thrusting through and holding meat that is to be cooked before or over a fire.
  2. any of various rods, pins, or the like used for particular purposes.
  3. a narrow point of land projecting into the water.
  4. a long, narrow shoal extending from the shore.
verb (used with object), spit·ted, spit·ting.
  1. to pierce, stab, or transfix, as with a spit; impale on something sharp.
  2. to thrust a spit into or through.

Origin of spit

2
before 1000; Middle English spite, Old English spitu; cognate with Middle Dutch, Middle Low German spit, spet, Old High German spiz spit; akin to Old Norse spīta peg
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for spat

spat

1
noun
  1. rare a slap or smack
  2. a slight quarrel
verb spats, spatting or spatted
  1. rare to slap (someone)
  2. (intr) US, Canadian and NZ to have a slight quarrel

Word Origin for spat

C19: probably imitative of the sound of quarrelling

spat

2
verb
  1. a past tense and past participle of spit 1

spat

3
noun
  1. another name for gaiter (def. 2)

Word Origin for spat

C19: short for spatterdash

spat

4
noun
  1. a larval oyster or similar bivalve mollusc, esp when it settles to the sea bottom and starts to develop a shell
  2. such oysters or other molluscs collectively

Word Origin for spat

C17: from Anglo-Norman spat; perhaps related to spit 1

spit

1
verb spits, spitting, spat or spit
  1. (intr) to expel saliva from the mouth; expectorate
  2. (intr) informal to show disdain or hatred by spitting
  3. (of a fire, hot fat, etc) to eject (fragments of coal, sparks, etc) violently and with an explosive sound; splutter
  4. (intr) to rain very lightly
  5. (tr often foll by out) to eject or discharge (something) from the mouthhe spat the food out; to spit blood
  6. (tr often foll by out) to utter (short sharp words or syllables), esp in a violent manner
  7. spit chips Australian slang to be very angryAlso (NZ): spit tacks
  8. spit it out! British informal a command given to someone that he should speak forthwith
noun
  1. another name for spittle
  2. a light or brief fall of rain, snow, etc
  3. the act or an instance of spitting
  4. informal, mainly British another word for spitting image
Derived Formsspitter, noun

Word Origin for spit

Old English spittan; related to spǣtan to spit, German dialect spitzen

spit

2
noun
  1. a pointed rod on which meat is skewered and roasted before or over an open fire
  2. Also called: rotisserie, rotating spit a similar device rotated by electricity or clockwork, fitted onto a cooker
  3. an elongated often hooked strip of sand or shingle projecting from the shore, deposited by longshore drift, and usually above water
verb spits, spitting or spitted
  1. (tr) to impale on or transfix with or as if with a spit

Word Origin for spit

Old English spitu; related to Old High German spiz spit, Norwegian spit tip

spit

3
noun
  1. the depth of earth cut by a spade; a spade's depth

Word Origin for spit

C16: from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German spit
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

Word Origin and History for spat
n.1

"petty quarrel," 1804, American English, of unknown origin; perhaps somehow imitative (cf. spat "smack, slap," attested from 1823).

n.2

"short gaiter covering the ankle," 1779, shortening of spatterdash "long gaiter to keep trousers or stockings from being spattered with mud" (1680s), from spatter and dash (v.).

spit

v.

"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.

spit

n.2

"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.

spit

n.1

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper