or spue


verb (used without object)

to discharge the contents of the stomach through the mouth; vomit.

verb (used with object)

to eject from the stomach through the mouth; vomit.
to cast forth, gush, or eject, as in disgust or anger: The angry sergeant spewed his charges at us.


something that is spewed; vomit.

Origin of spew

before 900; Middle English spewen to vomit, cast forth foul language, Old English spīwan to vomit; cognate with German speien, Old Norse spȳja, Gothic speiwan, Latin spuere
Related formsspew·er, nounun·spewed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spew

Contemporary Examples of spew

Historical Examples of spew

  • The other day when he came home, I could do nothing but spew and spew.

  • I've got him here, at my mercy: is it likely that I shouldn't be able to make him spew up his secret?

    The Three Eyes

    Maurice Leblanc

  • Fire will blacken the earth; flood will swallow and spew forth the soil.

  • If you strike me,” said he, “I will make you spew out your tongue.

    The Legend of Ulenspiegel

    Charles de Coster

  • She eats that she may spew up and she spews up that she may eat.

    In a German Pension

    Katherine Mansfield

British Dictionary definitions for spew



to eject (the contents of the stomach) involuntarily through the mouth; vomit
to spit (spittle, phlegm, etc) out of the mouth
(usually foll by out) to send or be sent out in a streamflames spewed out


something ejected from the mouth
Also (archaic): spue
Derived Formsspewer, noun

Word Origin for spew

Old English spīwan; related to Old Norse spӯja, Gothic speiwan, Old High German spīwan, Latin spuere, Lithuanian spiauti
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 spew

Old English spiwan "spew, spit," from Proto-Germanic *spiwanan (cf. Old Saxon spiwan, Old Norse spyja, Old Frisian spiwa, Middle Dutch spien, Dutch spuwen, Old High German spiwan, German speien, Gothic spiewan "to spit"), from PIE *sp(y)eu-, probably ultimately of imitative origin (cf. Latin spuere, Greek ptuein, Old Church Slavonic pljuja, Lithuanian spiauti). Also in Old English as a weak verb, speowan. Related: Spewed; spewing.


"vomited matter," c.1600, from spew (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper