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.
- 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'.
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