[ spyoo-tuhm ]
See synonyms for sputum on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural spu·ta [spyoo-tuh]. /ˈspyu tə/.
  1. matter, as saliva mixed with mucus or pus, expectorated from the lungs and respiratory passages.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of sputum

1685–95; <Latin spūtum, noun use of neuter of spūtus, past participle of spuere to spit, equivalent to spū- variant stem + -tus past participle suffix

Words Nearby sputum

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sputum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sputum


/ (ˈspjuːtəm) /

nounplural -ta (-tə)
  1. a mass of salivary matter ejected from the mouth

  2. saliva ejected from the mouth mixed with mucus or pus exuded from the respiratory passages, as in bronchitis or bronchiectasis

Origin of sputum

C17: from Latin: spittle, from spuere to spit out

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