Share this entry

Share this page

sputum

Syllabification: spu·tum
Pronunciation: /ˈspyo͞odəm
 
/

Definition of sputum in English:

noun

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.

Origin

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

Definition of sputum in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day ingratiate
Pronunciation: inˈɡrāSHēˌāt
verb
bring oneself into favor with someone through flattery…