Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: HUMAN

Language: Old English
Origin: spittan

spit

1 verb
     
spit1 past tense and past participle spat or spit American English present participle spitting
1

liquid from your mouth

[intransitive]HBH to force a small amount of saliva (=the liquid in your mouth) out of your mouth:
Nick rolled down his window and spat.
spit at/on/into
A group of fans spat on the players as they left the field.
2

food/drink etc

[transitive]HBH to force something out of your mouth:
Billy stood up slowly, rubbed his jaw, and spat blood.
spit something out
Diana tasted her martini and quickly spat it out.
3

rain

be spitting

British EnglishHEM to be raining very lightly [= drizzle]:
You don't need an umbrella - it's only spitting.
4

say something

also spit out [transitive] to say something quickly in a very angry way:
'Shut up,' spat Maria furiously.
5

spit it out

spoken used to ask someone to tell you something that they seem too frightened or embarrassed to say:
Come on Jean, spit it out!
6

small pieces

[intransitive and transitive] to send out small bits of something, for example fire or hot oil, into the air:
A log fire was crackling and spitting in the hearth.
7

cat

[intransitive]HBA if a cat spits, it makes short angry sounds
8

be within spitting distance (of something)

spoken to be very close to someone or something
9

spit the dummy

informal to react to something in a very angry way; used when suggesting that the person is behaving like a child and not reacting like an adult should

spit up

phrasal verb
if someone, especially a baby, spits up, they bring a small amount of food or drink up from their stomach out through their mouth
spit something ↔ up
I was a difficult child, always crying and spitting up my food.
On one occasion, our daughter spat up all over him.
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