\ ˈspyü How to pronounce spew (audio) \
spewed; spewing; spews

Definition of spew

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : vomit
2 : to come forth in a flood or gush
3 : to ooze out as if under pressure : exude

transitive verb

1 : vomit
2 : to send or cast forth with vigor or violence or in great quantity a volcano spewing out ash often used with out



Definition of spew (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : matter that is vomited : vomit
2 : material that exudes or is extruded

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Other Words from spew


spewer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for spew

Synonyms: Verb

gush, jet, pour, rush, spout, spurt, squirt, swoosh

Antonyms: Verb

dribble, drip, drop, trickle

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Examples of spew in a Sentence


Exhaust spewed out of the car. Smoke and ashes spewed from the volcano. The volcano spewed hot ash. The faucet started spewing dirty water. The dog spewed vomit on the rug.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hawaii issued an aviation red alert Tuesday after the Kilauea volcano spewed a plume of ash into the air, with authorities warning the volcano could become more explosive. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Hawaii on 'Red Alert' After Huge Ash Cloud Bursts From Kilauea Volcano," 16 May 2018 The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, adds to the mounting evidence that Europa is spewing its contents into space. Sarah Kaplan, courant.com, "Scientists discover new evidence for plumes on Europa, a target in the search for life," 14 May 2018 The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, adds to the mounting evidence that Europa is spewing its contents into space. Sarah Kaplan, ajc, "Scientists discover new evidence for jets of water on Europa, a target in the search for life," 14 May 2018 Instead, top holdings include tech companies such as Apple and Facebook and banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, which fund screenings show aren’t big users of fossil fuels and don’t spew a lot of carbon monoxide into the air. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Millennial 401(k)s: a peek inside their "socially responsible" investments," 11 May 2018 In the alley, Prosecco spewed into the air, dead striped bass were made to twerk, the watermelon was smashed and then crushed as cars passed through the makeshift set. Claudia Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Swedish choreographer makes a film — and a mess on the streets of San Francisco," 7 May 2018 Direct air capture is still in its infancy, though, and needs lots more R&D. Carbon dioxide–spewing coal plants are closing down despite the Trump administration’s desperate attempts to prop up the ailing industry. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Climate and energy news in 2018 actually wasn’t all bad," 1 Jan. 2019 At least 25 people were killed after the volcano erupted Sunday, spewing a river of lava and plumes of smoke almost 6 miles into the air, said CONRED, the government agency for disaster reduction. Emanuella Grinberg, CNN, "More dangers loom after Guatemala volcano eruption kills 25 people," 4 June 2018 At least 35 buildings on Hawaii’s Big Island were destroyed after the state’s Kilauea volcano erupted, spewing hot lava from at least 12 fissures into surrounding streets and forests. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Shocking footage shows hot lava spewing into Hawaii streets, swallowing car," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The vomiting pumpkin—in which green foam spews from a jack-o-lantern’s mouth—has become her signature effect. Don Steinberg, WSJ, "The Female Scientist Who Wants to Blow Up Your TV," 5 Dec. 2018 Brown coal, a greasy, low-grade fuel also known as lignite, isn’t just controversial because of the greenhouse gases its burning spews into the atmosphere. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "Germany Finds Local Coal Filthy and Irresistible," 10 Oct. 2018 His spew of hatred delights the guy on the other end of the line, Walter Beachway (Ryan Eggold), who invites Stallworth to come on down to meet some of the guys. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Cannes Review: Spike Lee's BlackKklansman Is the Movie We Need Now—And It's Funny, Too," 15 May 2018 These kids burst into tears, spew insults, and even threaten to beat up Jimmy for encouraging their parents to act so cruelly. Katelyn Lunders, Country Living, "Jimmy Kimmel's Annual Halloween Candy Bit Will Have You Crying From Laughter," 3 Nov. 2017 Asking good questions is an art, not some loudmouth anger spew. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Daugherty: Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is a victim of his own success," 4 Jan. 2018 Diesel engines, like all internal combustion engines, spew fumes that contribute to global warming. Russ Mitchell, latimes.com, "Can the Tesla Semi perform? UPS, PepsiCo and other truck fleet owners want to find out," 20 Dec. 2017 The whole area seethes with hydrothermal activity: Sulfuric acid spews from active fumaroles; geysers spout water and steam; the ground froths with boiling mud; and earthquake swarms shudder through the region, 125 miles south of Rome. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "An 11-year-old boy fell into an Italian volcanic crater. His parents also died trying to save him.," 12 Sep. 2017 Cara Anthony / The Star Holiday shopping seems to start earlier every year, long before the spew of major shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Amy Haneline, Indianapolis Star, "Black Friday: Ikea and Costco among stores closing on Thanksgiving Day," 5 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spew.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spew


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spew


Middle English, from Old English spīwan; akin to Old High German spīwan to spit, Latin spuere, Greek ptyein

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Dictionary Entries near spew





spewing sickness



Statistics for spew

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for spew

The first known use of spew was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for spew



English Language Learners Definition of spew

: to flow out of something in a fast and forceful way
: to cause (something) to flow out in a fast and forceful way


\ ˈspyü How to pronounce spew (audio) \
spewed; spewing

Kids Definition of spew

: to pour out The volcano spewed lava.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spew

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spew

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spew

Spanish Central: Translation of spew

Nglish: Translation of spew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spew for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spew

What made you want to look up spew? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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