Definition of expectorate in English:


Line breaks: ex|pec¦tor|ate
Pronunciation: /ɪkˈspɛktəreɪt
, ɛk-/


[with object]
Cough or spit out (phlegm) from the throat or lungs: she was expectorating dirty coloured sputum [no object]: a sign asks visitors not to expectorate in the sinks
More example sentences
  • The actor is the only one of that illustrious quartet who openly uses a spittoon, clears his throat and expectorates into the receptacle below his desk.
  • As anyone whose had a general anaesthetic will know, you have to cough and expectorate hard pretty much as soon as you come round to clear the anaesthetic out of your lungs.
  • My wife and I attended a Prom the other night and were treated to an invigorating and enthusiastic display of sneezing, coughing and expectorating.


early 17th century (in the sense 'enable sputum to be coughed up', referring to medicine): from Latin expectorat- 'expelled from the chest', from the verb expectorare, from ex- 'out' + pectus, pector- 'breast'.



Pronunciation: /-ˈreɪʃ(ə)n/
More example sentences
  • The juice relieves an irritable cough with its soothing action, liquefying the phlegm and mucus in the clogged channels and facilitating expectoration.
  • It was precision expectoration that accurately landed a deposit of froth about two feet from my Oxford brogues.
  • Pretending not to hear me, he gave a chest-heaving hawk in preparation for his next expectoration.

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