a cuspidor.

Origin of spittoon

An Americanism dating back to 1815–25; spit1 + -oon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spittoon

Historical Examples of spittoon

  • The Ranger poured his untasted liquor into the spittoon and settled the bill.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • He now rose and walked over to the spittoon before going on.

    A Spoil of Office

    Hamlin Garland

  • The outgoing tenant had obviously used the hearth as a spittoon.

    Nights in London

    Thomas Burke

  • A refined sort of spittoon has been introduced, with a high handle.

    Fred Markham in Russia

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • I wish youd take off that apron an bleed into the spittoon, he said as calm as he could.

    Friar Tuck

    Robert Alexander Wason

British Dictionary definitions for spittoon



a receptacle for spit, usually in a public place

Word Origin for spittoon

C19: from spit 1 + -oon: see saloon, balloon, etc
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 spittoon

1823, American English, from spit (n.1) + -oon. A rare instance of a word formed in English using this suffix (octoroon is another). Replaced earlier spitting box (1680s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper