Definition of sputum in English:


Line breaks: spu¦tum
Pronunciation: /ˈspjuːtəm


[mass 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.
    More 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'.

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