expectorate

verb

ex·​pec·​to·​rate ik-ˈspek-tə-ˌrāt How to pronounce expectorate (audio)
expectorated; expectorating

transitive verb

1
: to eject from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting
2
: spit

intransitive verb

1
: to discharge matter from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting
2
: spit
expectoration noun

Examples of expectorate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Place used clothing in hampers; blow your nose in a tissue; clear your throat and expectorate to remove mucus, which may contain particles inhaled in a lab; place glasses in the decontaminating solution for three minutes; take a full-body shower. Amy Barth, Discover Magazine, 24 Sep. 2012 Places where people might need to talk loudly, sing, or otherwise expectorate without a mask are seen as riskier than those where everyone can easily wear a mask at all times. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Aug. 2020 Of course, there’s never been any such game where players young and old didn’t expectorate freely. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, 8 May 2020 When Andrei blasts Matvey with a shotgun, blowing apart one of his sofa cushions, which in turn expectorates a bunch of American dollars, those deeper motives becomes obvious. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'expectorate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin expectoratus, past participle of expectorare to banish from the mind (taken to mean literally "to expel from the chest"), from ex- + pector-, pectus breast, soul — more at pectoral

First Known Use

1601, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of expectorate was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near expectorate

Cite this Entry

“Expectorate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expectorate. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

expectorate

verb
ex·​pec·​to·​rate ik-ˈspek-tə-ˌrāt How to pronounce expectorate (audio)
expectorated; expectorating
: to discharge (as phlegm) from the throat or lungs by coughing and spitting
expectoration noun

Medical Definition

expectorate

verb
ex·​pec·​to·​rate -tə-ˌrāt How to pronounce expectorate (audio)
expectorated; expectorating

transitive verb

1
: to eject from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting
2
: spit

intransitive verb

1
: to discharge matter from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting
2
: spit

More from Merriam-Webster on expectorate

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