sputum

noun spu·tum \ ˈspyü-təm , ˈspü- \

Definition of sputum

plural sputa play \-tə\ also sputums
:matter expectorated from the respiratory system and especially the lungs that is composed of mucus but may contain pus, blood, fibrin, or microorganisms (such as bacteria) in diseased states

Recent Examples of sputum from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of sputum

Latin, from neuter of sputus, past participle of spuere to spit — more at spew


SPUTUM Defined for English Language Learners

sputum

noun

Definition of sputum for English Language Learners

  • medical : a thick liquid that comes up from your lungs when you are sick


Medical Dictionary

sputum

noun spu·tum \ ˈsp(y)üt-əm \

medical Definition of sputum

plural sputa play \\
:matter expectorated from the respiratory system and especially the lungs in diseased states that is composed of mucus but may contain pus, blood, fibrin, or microorganisms (as bacteria)

Learn More about sputum


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!