Definition of spout in US English:



  • 1A tube or lip projecting from a container, through which liquid can be poured.

    ‘a teapot with a chipped spout’
    • ‘By holding the container over the opening of the spray tank or holding tank while rinsing, the rinse water can be captured as it drains from the container spout.’
    • ‘Previously, we packaged our product in a paperboard carton that had a pour spout with a screw-on cap.’
    • ‘A good number of dairy manufacturers still use cartons, many of which sport vivid colors and graphics along with convenient closures and spouts.’
    • ‘The ‘fountain’ of Cacao is no baroque extravaganza but a simple vertical spout at the center of the pool of melted chocolate.’
    • ‘We bought 80 used galvanized buckets with covers and spouts from a sugarmaker who had changed from traditional buckets to plastic pipeline.’
    • ‘There was steam hissing from a dozen little spouts and a thick green gas hid the floor.’
    • ‘Paper gable-top cartons are filled and sealed with advanced equipment that uses extended shelf-life technology and has the capability of applying convenient pour spouts to half-gallon cartons.’
    • ‘Worse still, because the button was on the side, you would naturally tilt the mug back, then open the spout, and the coffee volcano would erupt in your face.’
    • ‘‘Instead of a spout in the center, it is on the corner, making it easier to tip and pour, as opposed to lifting the bottle and turning it on its side to pour,’ says Ayers.’
    • ‘Once the boxes are filled, a pour spout is installed on the top of the package.’
    • ‘This modern, round building does resemble an upturned funnel with spout mounting to the heavens.’
    • ‘I found a used milker inflation tube fits snugly over a 1-quart plastic oil can and makes a pour spout for hard-to-reach transmissions on combines.’
    • ‘Oftentimes, the only thing binding these teapots together is the fact that they each have a handle, spout and lid.’
    nozzle, lip, rose
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  • 2A stream of liquid issuing from somewhere with great force.

    ‘the tall spouts of geysers’
    • ‘After a quick ineffectual glance up at Anderson's house, she ran towards the driveway, splashing spouts of mud and rainwater up at her jeans.’
    stream, spurt, squirt, spray, fountain
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    1. 2.1 The plume of water vapor ejected from the blowhole of a whale.
      ‘the spout of an occasional whale’
      • ‘When you're not scanning the ocean with your binoculars for a whale spout to the west, you can watch squirrels and birds scamper about to the east.’
      • ‘Not long after this, the Jungfrau lowers boats again; they have seen the spout of a Fin Back, a whale impossible to capture due to its swimming speed, and mistake it for a Sperm Whale.’
      • ‘It is dangerous to approach the thing too closely, but Ishmael hypothesizes that the spout is nothing but mist, the effect of a whale thinking about Eternity.’
      • ‘But although the ship moves quickly, and the men are eager to find the whale making the spout, they are unable to see it again.’
      • ‘It is last seen pursuing a wave that the men aboard have mistaken for a whale spout.’
  • 3A pipe or trough through which water may be carried away or from which it can flow out.

    • ‘Kids just love climbing along and jumping into water spouts, especially if the spouts are sometimes unpredictable.’
    • ‘Outcroppings on both sides of the building serve as drain spouts.’
    • ‘The arms of the double-row colonnade embrace a circular fountain with a brass spout cast from an old terra-cotta finial on the nearby Wrigley Building, one of Chicago's most cherished older buildings.’
    • ‘Roofs are of corrugated iron drained by copper spouts and downpipes.’
    1. 3.1 A sloping trough for conveying something to a lower level; a chute.
    2. 3.2historical A lift in a pawnshop used to convey pawned items up for storage.


[with object]
  • 1Send out (liquid) forcibly in a stream.

    ‘volcanoes spouted ash and lava’
    propel, project, send forth, eject, deliver, discharge, fire, shoot, blast, catapult, launch, release, force, push, impel, ram
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    1. 1.1no object, with adverbial (of a liquid) flow out forcibly in a stream.
      ‘blood was spouting from the cuts on my hand’
      spurt, gush, spew, pour, stream, rush, erupt, surge, shoot, pump, squirt, spray, flow, issue
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    2. 1.2 (of a whale or dolphin) eject (water vapor and air) through its blowhole.
      • ‘The artist's contribution was another flag installation - the old South African flag and the ANC flag knotted together, placed in a fountain in the center of Paris that had dolphins and lions spouting water.’
  • 2Express (one's views or ideas) in a lengthy, declamatory, and unreflecting way.

    ‘he was spouting platitudes about animal rights’
    no object ‘they like to spout off at each other’
    • ‘And the next time your friend spouts off about how smart he is at booking travel, suggest that there might be an opening in the reservation center of the Web service you're using.’
    • ‘While the attendant is gone, Macbeth spouts off about the danger that Banquo poses to Macbeth's position as king.’
    • ‘Mr. Kudlow and the bulls can spout propaganda all they want, but it is not going to change underlying fundamentals.’
    • ‘So when Andy got a chance to spout off about farming on the local NPR station, he jumped.’
    • ‘It would be silly for me to contend that only professional economists should comment upon economics: I am not a professional economist myself, and I'll spout off on the subject at the drop of a hat.’
    • ‘Constantly bemoaning his lot, he spouts an endless supply of cruel put-downs, although few of them have much effect.’
    • ‘On two continents, they incontinently spout platitudes, nonsense, tall tales, or pseudopoetic fantasies.’
    • ‘She spouts fountains of ridiculous psychobabble but has the firmest grasp on reality.’
    • ‘Will you please flail around like a zombie and spout gibberish in one of the worst fantasy movies ever?’
    • ‘How else would he have learned to spout such preposterous notions as universal love?’
    • ‘I think when you bump into people who like to spout off, you intuitively know it's coming from some inner hurt.’
    • ‘Billy's father Stan is a quiet character, who nonetheless often spouts unintentionally humorous lines.’
    • ‘You are relegated to spouting opinion, and nothing more.’
    • ‘With all this in mind, I wish I liked the film more, but even nine years on, Jesse and Celine still strike me as a pair of self-involved, faux intellectuals spouting empty platitudes.’
    • ‘There's more than one occasion that will have most people smirking if not laughing while listening to the young Larry spout out terribly embarrassing or inappropriate statements.’
    • ‘It may be that, as one character spouts, ‘All we ever really own in life is our pain,’ but you have to feel it to own it.’
    • ‘When you're speaking on behalf of other people you cease to be spouting your own views.’
    • ‘He just spouts Marxist platitudes and courts his women in a thoroughly conventional way.’
    • ‘However, I am underqualified to spout off about them in any depth.’
    • ‘I don't care if I'm spouting clichés, because that's the way it was.’
    hold forth, sound off, go on, talk at length, expatiate, pontificate, declaim, orate, rant, sermonize
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  • up the spout

    • 1informal No longer working, or unlikely to be useful or successful.

      • ‘The publisher's ability to fill those orders is up the spout - they're having to ship directly from printer to bookshop.’
      • ‘Some of them are half way through their course and their qualifications will go up the spout.’
      • ‘Indeed, right now, there are tens of thousands of people unable to indulge in a little online flirting - and all because MSN's service is up the spout.’
      • ‘Of course, the alternative is that the authorities turn a blind eye to drug use in brothels, and then your whole criminal justice system goes up the spout.’
      • ‘Plan A went up the spout in eight minutes with Jason Price's seventh goal in six games since joining from Brentford, who thought he was a defender.’
      • ‘The internet access at work was up the spout almost all day.’
      • ‘By the time you have eventually caught one, appointments in town have been missed and one's careful planning for the day has gone up the spout.’
      • ‘Now, with the roads clogged, the trains up the spout and hot desking presenting a daily strain of competing for your actual workstation, the thought of staying at home to work has never been more appealing.’
      damaged, faulty, defective, unsound
      faulty, damaged, broken, defective, unsound
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    • 2informal (of a woman) pregnant.

      • ‘Turn again to this lot, and their sympathetic reaction to some self-proclaimed religious freak who has been put up the spout out of wedlock.’
      • ‘I hear Daly is now up the spout through her unholy union with Kaye.’
      • ‘‘I'm up the spout so you'd better hike child benefit,’ were not the words used, which is a pity as it would have livened things up a little.’
      expecting a baby, having a baby, with a baby on the way, having a child, expectant, carrying a child
      pregnant, expecting a baby, having a baby, with a baby on the way, having a child, expectant, carrying a child
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    • 3informal Pawned.

      ‘by Friday, half his belongings were up the spout’


Middle English (as a verb): from Middle Dutch spouten, from an imitative base shared by Old Norse spýta ‘to spit’.