cuspidor was our Word of the Day on 02/28/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of cuspidor from the Web
Buckets, cuspidors and other containers were gathered up and placed about the floor and on the judge's bench to prevent as much damage as possible.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cuspidor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Cuspidor entered English in the early 18th century via the Portuguese word cuspidouro, meaning "place for spitting." The Portuguese word, unsurprisingly, has its origins in Latin: the word conspuere comes from the prefix com- and spuere, meaning "to spit." ("Spuere" is also the source of "spew" and sputum.) Since the early 19th century, "cuspidor" has been competing with (and losing to) "spittoon," but "cuspidor" beats "spittoon" in one particular category: the receptacle for spit at a dentist's office is more often referred to by the older word.
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