Definition of sputum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspyo͞odəm/


A mixture of saliva and mucus coughed up from the respiratory tract, typically as a result of infection or other disease and often examined microscopically to aid medical diagnosis.
Example sentences
  • Children may contract enterovirus by direct contact with saliva, sputum or nasal mucus from infected persons.
  • He noted that his chronic, dry cough had produced discolored sputum in recent days.
  • Four days prior to admission, she developed a cough productive of whitish sputum.


Late 17th century: from Latin, neuter past participle of spuere 'to spit'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: spu·tum

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