spat

1
[ spat ]
/ spæt /
||

noun

a petty quarrel.
a light blow; slap; smack.

verb (used without object), spat·ted, spat·ting.

to engage in a petty quarrel or dispute.
to splash or spatter; rain spatting against the window.

verb (used with object), spat·ted, spat·ting.

to strike lightly; slap.

Nearby words

  1. spastic gait,
  2. spastic hemiplegia,
  3. spastic ileus,
  4. spastic paralysis,
  5. spasticity,
  6. spatchcock,
  7. spate,
  8. spathaceous,
  9. spathe,
  10. spathic

Origin of spat

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

spat

2
[ spat ]
/ spæt /

verb

a simple past tense and past participle of spit1.

spat

3
[ spat ]
/ spæt /

noun

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 ]
/ spæt /

noun

the spawn of an oyster or similar shellfish.
young oysters collectively.
a young oyster.

Origin of spat

4
1350–1400; Middle English; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spats


British Dictionary definitions for spats

spat

1
/ (spæt) /

noun

rare a slap or smack
a slight quarrel

verb spats, spatting or spatted

rare to slap (someone)
(intr) US, Canadian and NZ to have a slight quarrel

Word Origin for spat

C19: probably imitative of the sound of quarrelling

spat

2
/ (spæt) /

verb

a past tense and past participle of spit 1

spat

3
/ (spæt) /

noun

another name for gaiter (def. 2)

Word Origin for spat

C19: short for spatterdash

spat

4
/ (spæt) /

noun

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

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper