Language: Old English
Origin: spittan


1 verb
Related topics: Human
spit1 past tense and past participle spat or spit American English present participle spitting

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.

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.


be spitting

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

say something

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

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!

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.


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

be within spitting distance (of something)

spoken to be very close to someone or something

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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