spit 1 (spĭt)
1. Saliva, especially when expectorated; spittle.
2. The act of expectorating.
3. Something, such as the frothy secretion of spittle bugs, that resembles spit.
4. A brief, scattered rainfall or snowfall.
5. Informal The perfect likeness: He's the spit and image of his father.
v. spat (spăt) or spit, spit·ting, spits
1. To eject from the mouth: spat out the grape seeds.
2. To eject as if from the mouth: a fire spitting sparks.
3. To emit suddenly and forcefully: spat out an insult.
1. To eject matter from the mouth; expectorate.
2. To express contempt or animosity, especially by ejecting matter from the mouth.
3. To make a hissing or sputtering noise: french fries spitting in the pan.
4. To rain or snow in light, scattered drops or flakes.
To vomit. Used especially of a baby.
[Middle English, from spitten, to spit, from Old English spittan, ultimately of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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