Definition of spew in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Expel large quantities of (something) rapidly and forcibly.

    ‘buses were spewing out black clouds of exhaust’
    • ‘Greed is one of the primary factors that induces corporations to, say, spew chemicals into our air and water.’
    • ‘How long has it been since you've hollered for that rickety three wheel convertible drive that spewed no smoke and burnt no holes in the pocket?’
    • ‘Some filmed the water cannon spewing water and thick black smoke into the detainees' cage.’
    • ‘By now, the helicopter had begun to spew smoke, not able to withstand as a shield for much longer.’
    • ‘She chomped on the cigar, and seething, she inhaled sharply and spewed a jet-stream of carcinogenic smoke into the acrid atmosphere between them.’
    • ‘Looking overhead, he watched as two more massive explosions spewed black smoke and metallic debris onto rooftops and houses below.’
    • ‘In the capital Manila, activists have asked the city's three-million cellphone users to report the licence numbers of cars spewing black smoke.’
    • ‘Near the bigger cities, concrete tower blocks were common and huge chimneys spewed clouds of smoke.’
    • ‘One fighter spewed a thick cloud of smoke and was the first to attempt a landing as the others made their approach in a two-by-two pattern.’
    • ‘Most important thing is to make sure the gas and oil mix (two cycle oil) is right so you won't burn out the engine or be spewing a lot of smoke.’
    • ‘The creature roared in agony, thrashing about and spewing gouts of blood, until it lay quivering in a pool of its own gore.’
    • ‘It constantly spews toxic chemicals into the air here, and the residents I work with suffer from headaches, nosebleeds and respiratory problems.’
    • ‘Phone books carry instructions on what to do if an attack or accident spews chemicals or radioactivity into the air.’
    • ‘An ugly-looking industrial plant was coming up with gigantic chimneys spewing black smoke into the sky.’
    • ‘Mercury is spewed into the air from coal-burning plants and facilities that incinerate medical waste.’
    • ‘The source of the trouble lies to the north, where it spews its venom throughout the Great Kingdom, breeding dissension as rotten meat breeds maggots.’
    • ‘Jessica stopped after only about fifty yards when the engine began to spew dark smoke.’
    • ‘Visa officials should have the immediate power to deny entry to all those who spew hatred of America or who belong to organizations that express enmity to the United States.’
    • ‘Cities had held towers rising to the heavens, but now dark chimneys, tall as trees, spewed their smoke over the sky.’
    • ‘Two pulp mills spew chemicals into the river that is the only source of the city's water.’
    emit, discharge, eject, expel, belch out, pour out, spout, disgorge
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    1. 1.1no object, with adverbial of direction Be poured or forced out in large quantities.
      ‘oil spewed out of the damaged tanker’
      • ‘Joey stared at it absently, taking an exaggerated interest in the papers spewing out.’
      • ‘Immediately, a rush of power spewed forth from within, sending a reverberating shock wave through the district.’
      • ‘Who has time to read, never mind cope with, the mountain of red tape that spews out of Brussels: employment legislation, working time directives, discrimination laws, VAT rules, etc?’
      • ‘Oil and smoke spewed from the engine compartment.’
      • ‘Its main geographical features are three low hills formed from superheated mud that spews periodically from the earth's bowels.’
      • ‘This article spews forth opinions as if they are facts and figures.’
      • ‘The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken.’
      • ‘Heading straight into the sun the bow of the ship raises its fist for another attack on a relentless swell and angry salt spray spews into the air only to fall back into the collective pit of unchallenged hyaline.’
      • ‘A North Vancouver company that manufactures state-of-the-art oil spill cleanup equipment is sending two containers to Iraq to help mop up oil spewing from burning oil wells.’
      • ‘After landing, I looked in the burner can and found oil spewed all over the inside.’
      • ‘A lava spout spewed from the relics and threw the androids back.’
      • ‘No gushers, no oil spewing down like black rain from creaky wooden derricks.’
      • ‘In the surrounding countryside, at least a dozen cows and sheep lay dead, covered by the silty grey material that began spewing on August 4 from the crater, obscured from view by a shroud of dark clouds.’
      • ‘Most energy quickly collapses into a black hole, but some spews out in a flood of super hot neutrons and atomic nuclei.’
      • ‘Last spring I struggled to find ways to combat the negativity that was spewing forth from certain politicians via mainstream media.’
      • ‘Blood, flat like a sheet of paper, spewed from the split shoulder and the famous swordsman fell to the ground, his broken sword as dead as he.’
      • ‘Blood spurted out of her unprotected neck and spewed all over the floor.’
      • ‘The samurai choked as a spurt of blood spewed out, splashing Ayumi in the face.’
      • ‘Ashley and Rick watch on as the foam spews forth from the measuring cylinder as a result of the chemical reaction.’
      • ‘It was so thick that you could stick a pin needle into the ground and oil would come spewing out of the ground.’
      pour, gush, spurt, surge, spout, jet, rush
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    2. 1.2informal no object Vomit.
      • ‘I am convinced of my son's comic timing as he always manages to hit me with this surprise spew only after I've changed or washed.’
      • ‘The spew in my hair, my top missing, this alien bathroom with its funny shower tiles, a kind of washed out blue with sea plants and animals inserted what seemed like randomly in between.’


Old English spīwan, spēowan, of Germanic origin; related to German speien.