cuspidor

noun
cus·​pi·​dor | \ ˈkə-spə-ˌdȯr How to pronounce cuspidor (audio) \

Definition of cuspidor

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.

Examples of cuspidor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hurney embellishing every point with a wave of his makeshift cuspidor; Rivera stern and square, arms folded tightly, mouth a straight line. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, 9 Mar. 2018 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. Scott Harrison, latimes.com, 14 Feb. 2018 Hurney embellishing every point with a wave of his makeshift cuspidor; Rivera stern and square, arms folded tightly, mouth a straight line. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, 9 Mar. 2018 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. Scott Harrison, latimes.com, 14 Feb. 2018

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.

First Known Use of cuspidor

1735, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cuspidor

Portuguese cuspidouro place for spitting, from cuspir to spit, from Latin conspuere, from com- + spuere to spit — more at spew

Learn More About cuspidor

Time Traveler for cuspidor

Time Traveler

The first known use of cuspidor was in 1735

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About cuspidor

Dictionary Entries Near cuspidor

cuspidine

cuspidor

cusping

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cuspidor

Cite this Entry

“Cuspidor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cuspidor. Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!