\ ˈspyü \
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

Humans first reported observing the clouds in 1885, two years after Indonesia’s Krakatoa volcano spewed large amounts of water vapor in the air, the study said. Katie Camero, BostonGlobe.com, "Once-rare cloud is now more common, and new study says climate change is to blame," 13 July 2018 Oil refiners and other fuel producers also pay through rules that penalize them for spewing carbon during the production process. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "California beats its 2020 goals for cutting greenhouse gases," 11 July 2018 Nearly all the injuries were caused by burns, the result of being hit by spewing fireballs. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Your Fourth of July guide | Wednesday Morning Brief, July 4," 4 July 2018 The dragon toy spews sparks from its mouth and tail and blows out colorful smoke. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "North Carolina fire department warns fireworks inside children's toys are being sold in town," 3 July 2018 Edwards stopped paying the young man, who has an intellectual disability; forced him to work seven days a week, racking up over 100 hours; and spewed racial slurs and other threats at him. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "White Restaurant Manager Pleads Guilty to Enslaving Mentally Disabled Black Man," 6 June 2018 But as ashen plume spewed as high as 40,000 feet above sea level before subsiding, its fallout caused the failure of telephone circuits and electric transmission lines in parts of the darkened region below. sandiegouniontribune.com, "May 26, 1980: Mount St. Helens explodes again," 26 May 2018 This photo is from Grand Canyon National Park, where a pipeline broke and was spewing water à la Old Faithful. J. Weston Phippen, Outside Online, "The Terrible State of Our National Parks—in Photos," 5 July 2018 Antiquated labour laws and a government fond of harassing big business are to blame for an absence of mega-factories spewing iPhones or T-shirts. The Economist, "Culture and the labour market keep India’s women at home," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 In the 1990s, the auto industry preserved the subsidies by convincing politicians that diesels were better for the environment than gasoline engines, a dubious claim given the other pollutants that diesel spews. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "As German Election Looms, Politicians Face Voters’ Wrath for Ties to Carmakers," 13 Sep. 2017 The whole area seethes with hydrothermal activity: Sulfuric acid spews from active fumaroles 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

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

20 Sep 2018

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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 \
spewed; spewing

Kids Definition of spew

: to pour out The volcano spewed lava.

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Comments on spew

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an open space surrounded by woods

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