spat

1
[spat]
See more synonyms for spat on Thesaurus.com
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

Synonyms for spat

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for spats

Contemporary Examples of spats

Historical Examples of spats

  • From spats to hat, from walking coat to gloves, everything was perfect of its kind.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Who ever heard of a goulash poet in a braid-bound cutaway and spats?

  • Squaring his shoulders, he crossed his legs and gazed inscrutably at his spats.

  • But they did frequently have spats, for both were hot-tempered and willful.

  • He had a light top-coat on his arm, and his tan gloves were an exact match for his spats.

    The Wreckers

    Francis Lynde


British Dictionary definitions for spats

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
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 spats

spat

n.1

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

spat

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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper