verb (spits, spitting; past and past participle spat /spat/ or spit)[no object]
- 1Eject saliva forcibly from one’s mouth, sometimes as a gesture of contempt or anger: Todd spat in Hugh’s faceMore example sentences
- As reported in the Manchester Evening News, more than 1,600 station workers now have access to swabbing kits, which they can use to store saliva if a customer spits at them before sending it off for analysis.
- In April 2002, he was jailed for six weeks for contempt of court for spitting at a police liaison officer in court.
- He also received a further six weeks for contempt after spitting at a court official.
- 1.1 [with object] Forcibly eject (food or liquid) from one’s mouth: the baby spat out its porridgeMore example sentences
- I am afraid to say that this revelation caused a certain amount of food to be spat out, and scenes of a boisterous nature which cannot be tolerated in polite society.
- I looked away from my reflection in the mirror, found a Kleenex, and spat the food in my mouth out.
- At occasional intervals the faces appear to spit water from their mouths, in a reference to more classical fountain designs.
- 1.2 (spit up) North American (Especially of a baby) vomit or regurgitate food: their infants fretted, mewled, and spat up over their jeansMore example sentences
- We didn't get the leather because it's leather, we got it because when the baby spits up it's easier to wipe that off leather than cloth.
- You might be able to wear the same thing every day, but your baby will undoubtedly begin spitting up after every meal, and your toddler will drip gelato on her dress and crawl in filthy piazzas.
- However, regular spitting up or vomiting in infants associated with any of the following symptoms may be a sign of a more serious problem.
- 1.3 [with object] Utter in a hostile or aggressive way: she spat abuse at the jury [with direct speech]: ‘Go to hell!’ she spatMore example sentences
- It was the same fight as it had been nearly fifteen hundred years before, only they were less hostile and weren't spitting their words out carelessly.
- She said: ‘We have been getting abuse and been spat at and shouted at for a year.’
- The attacker spat racial abuse at the victim as he carried out the terrifying assault at Monkton Road Stores, in Monkton Road, off Byland Avenue.
- 1.4 • black English Perform rap music.More example sentences
- What more can you say about a gangsta rap superstar who spits, deadpan: ‘Hokey pokey dopey lokey okey dokey’?
- The stand out track of the album ‘It's On ’, features Vakill spitting enough lyrical ammunition to sink any passing battle-cat.
- ‘At the end of the day, everything we spit on the album is the real deal,’ Kwajo interjects.
- 1.5(Of a fire or something being cooked) emit small bursts of sparks or hot fat with a series of short, explosive noises: the bonfire crackled and spatMore example sentences
- Ilea ruled the south icy realm, Aural the seas of the north, Inferna the parched lands of the west where fire spits from mountains, and Terrestra the forests of the East.
- A fire already spit in the fireplace as Alecaen took a seat on the plush blood red couch.
- It was stone cold within, but there was a pile of cut wood in one corner and soon he had a fire spitting and crackling, dancing weird patterns of red and yellow about the cabin.
- 1.6(Of a cat) make a hissing noise as a sign of anger or hostility: the cat arched his back and spat at herMore example sentences
- As soon as I was done, the cat started hissing and spitting and arched its back.
- He's charging the door of his box, growling, spitting, and hissing.
- It spat and hissed, coiling about on the ground in a demented and tortured agony.
- 2 (it spits, it is spitting, etc.) British Light rain falls: it began to spitMore example sentences
- With 15 minutes to go before the start and the cars formed up on the grid, it is spitting with rain every now and again.
- The rain began to spit down across the windscreen.
- This afternoon, many people in the office turned to look at the darkening grey skies and the rain spitting on the windows.
nounBack to top
- 1 [mass noun] Saliva, typically that which has been ejected from a person’s mouth.More example sentences
- I brought up all this phlegm and spit into my mouth, and at first it was so, so foul I nearly choked.
- Old Bruce is not happy to be reminded that he was once a porky loser who talks as if his mouth is full of spit and looks like a living donut.
- I spit on the ground to get the tastes of acid and hate out of my mouth and my spit burned a hole in the sidewalk.
be the spit (or the dead spit) of
- • informal Look exactly like: Felix is the spit of Rosa’s brother[see spitting image]More example sentences
- As for Kieran, he wears his success lightly and is, Jackson says, a quiet, relaxed character who is the spit of his brother.
- The youngest sibling Claire (played by Lauren Ambrose, the spit of Thora Birch in American Beauty) gets the call just after she's tried smoking crystal meth for the first time.
- In reality shows such as MTV's Extreme Makeovers some tragic dork from Dullsville, USA decides he wants to be remodelled to be the spit of Brad Pitt, and if it means smashing up his jaw and nose, so be it.
- British • informal Used to describe an old-fashioned or simple pub or bar, of a type whose floor was originally covered with sawdust.More example sentences
- The Grapes is an old-fashioned big northern pub, almost spit-and-sawdust, the type that still closes between lunchtime and the early evening.
- Essentially, The Irish (an unapologetically back-to-basics, spit-and-sawdust kind of joint) is the very embodiment of unchanging timelessness in a world of ever-shifting certainties.
- The law is about to be changed again to allow further modernisation of shops, and it is time for the few remaining spit-and-sawdust shops to go, and genuine standards of punter comfort to be imposed on all.
- • informal Be very angry.More example sentences
- This morning Nathan Buckley was on the radio spitting chips about by this article from Chip Le Grand.
- If I was Chris Haywood, I would be spitting chips after watching this.
- All but one were employed in three popular seafood restaurants owned by the Doyle family, and the Doyles today are spitting chips.
spit (out) the dummy
- Australian • informal Behave in a bad-tempered or petulant way.More example sentences
- So Warren reacts by spitting the dummy and suing!
- Passed-over internal CEO candidates are well known for spitting the dummy and defecting to a competitor.
- They're so nice about it, and I'm so anxious, that I can't start spitting the dummy down the phone.
spit feathers (or tacks or Australian chips) • informal , chiefly British
- 2Be very angry.More example sentences
- Upon hearing the news the Putin regime in Moscow was said to be spitting feathers.
- Colin Todd was spitting feathers behind a locked dressing room door afterwards.
- The reporters at that first press conference were, of course, spitting feathers.
spit in the eye (or face) of
- Show contempt or scorn for.More example sentences
- In taking that approach, he completely cancels any nobility or purity of his sacrifice and spits in the face of what most religions hold dear: the sanctity of life.
- That the band was brought down by a drunk driver fuels the irony and spits in the face of what Compromise stood for.
- You will experience a sense of liberation for the rest of your working life and be able to spit in the eye of just about anyone who crosses you - a great and abiding pleasure.
spit in (or into) the wind
- Do something futile or pointless.More example sentences
- You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit in the wind, you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with Fairfax.
- One hopes that Hawaii's new system will not be in existence that long, but don't be surprised if legislators continue to ignore the free market and spit into the wind.
spit it out
- • informal Used to urge someone to say or confess something quickly: spit it out, man, I haven’t got all dayMore example sentences
- Jonathan loathed the sound of that man's name, he hated to speak it, he spit it out quickly and swigged his coke to remove the taste.
- He took it out of Kuwait in 1991, and we made him spit it out.
- People may not like it, but I just spit it out and say it like it is.
- More example sentences
- You parents out there know the kind: big, spitty, open-mouthed kisses.
- The two young men ignore each other until it would be ridiculous to continue, and then fall into a spitty little conversation in front of the hotel fireplace.
- He examined his teeth once more, honed some of the spikes in his hair with a couple spitty fingers, opened the bathroom door and sprinted down the hall.
Old English spittan, of imitative origin.
- 1A long, thin metal rod pushed through meat in order to hold and turn it while it is roasted over an open fire: chicken cooked on a spitMore example sentences
- He was just hungry and curious enough to follow his nose and went down a new alley, coming upon an Arab with an eye patch over one eye, cooking a hunk of meat on a spit over a open fire.
- We bury the skin, fur, head and entrails using a shovel we brought, and then set the meat roasting on a spit on the fire.
- Egyptian-style kebabs have chunks of lamb seasoned in onion, marjoram and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and roasted on a spit over an open fire.
- 2A narrow point of land projecting into the sea: a narrow spit of land shelters the bayMore example sentences
- Check in at the exclusive Leela Goa Hotel, which straddles a narrow spit of land between the Sal River and the Arabian Sea in Mobor.
- Built on a narrow spit of land dividing Otter Lake from Goulding Lake, the cabin proved to be the perfect base.
- Consider Orford Ness, a lonely spit of land that was once the site of military tests and is now owned by the National Trust.
verb (spits, spitting, spitted)[with object] Back to top
- Put a spit through (meat) in order to roast it over an open fire: he spitted the rabbit and cooked itMore example sentences
- The pieces of meat are spitted on green twigs, which are stuck into the ground in front of a blazing log.
- Fire, the most basic source of radiant heat, has been known to man for many thousands of years, and was probably used to roast meat spitted on green wood far back into prehistory.
- Some minutes later, once the squirrels were spitted and roasting near the flames, Arun began his first ‘lesson.’
Old English spitu, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch spit and German Spiess.
noun (plural same or spits)
early 16th century: from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German; probably related to spit2.