Definition of expectorate in English:



  • Cough or spit out (phlegm) from the throat or lungs.

    ‘she was expectorating dirty coloured sputum’
    [with object] [no object] ‘a sign asks visitors not to expectorate in the sinks’
    • ‘Even the thought of pitchers expectorating on the ball was repulsive to some people.’
    • ‘When I came to spit it out, he offered me the cup, so I was was forced to expectorate into a three-inch deep slurry of chewing tobacco.’
    • ‘‘Oh, you've seen the magazine then,’ I enquired as he expectorated into the bathroom sink.’
    • ‘According to an independent survey on spitting this year showed that 300 million Chinese expectorate in public.’
    • ‘The actor is the only one of that illustrious quartet who openly uses a spittoon, clears his throat and expectorates into the receptacle below his desk.’
    • ‘While he doesn't prove that nobody ever expectorated on a serviceman - you can't prove a negative, after all - he reduces the claim to an urban myth.’
    • ‘In our study, almost half of the subjects completing both visits did not expectorate regularly, and thus we had almost twice the number of subjects for analysis.’
    • ‘As anyone whose had a general anaesthetic will know, you have to cough and expectorate hard pretty much as soon as you come round to clear the anaesthetic out of your lungs.’
    • ‘Besides, who could like an instrument where all you do is expectorate into metal tubes!’
    • ‘For each sample, they collected saliva in their mouths for a minute, and then expectorated slowly through a straw into a cryotube.’
    • ‘The other thing I read this morning in the paper is they are doubling fines for expectorating.’
    • ‘He looked at me as if I'd expectorated into the ‘stuffing.’’
    • ‘A major advantage of sputum induction, however, is that patients who are normally unable to expectorate can almost always produce sputum after inhaling hypertonic saline.’
    • ‘However, sampling may be difficult in the younger patients and in patients with mild disease who do not expectorate.’
    • ‘People expectorating on the pavement is not a big issue in this city.’
    • ‘He once suggested that my brother handle a bully by puffing up his chest and announcing, ‘If you come near me, I'll expectorate in your countenance.’’
    • ‘There used to be notices against expectorating in public places, though how many accomplished spitters understood them in order to obey can only be guessed.’
    • ‘Phlegm is said to be either substantial or insubstantial, meaning that it can either be the mucous we expectorate and drool or a kind of ‘fog’ that blocks the sensory, organs.’
    • ‘My wife and I attended a Prom the other night and were treated to an invigorating and enthusiastic display of sneezing, coughing and expectorating.’
    • ‘Protein in the diaphragm and intercostal muscles has been depleted, impairing the patient's ability to deep breathe, expectorate, and clear microbes from the lungs.’
    expectorate, hawk
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Early 17th century (in the sense ‘enable sputum to be coughed up’, referring to medicine): from Latin expectorat- expelled from the chest, from the verb expectorare, from ex- out + pectus, pector- breast.