Meaning of expectorate in English:


Pronunciation /ɪkˈspɛktəreɪt/ /ɛkˈspɛktəreɪt/

Translate expectorate into Spanish


[with object]
  • Cough or spit out (phlegm) from the throat or lungs.

    ‘she was expectorating dirty coloured sputum’
    • ‘a sign asks visitors not to expectorate in the sinks’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My wife and I attended a Prom the other night and were treated to an invigorating and enthusiastic display of sneezing, coughing and expectorating.’
    • ‘‘Oh, you've seen the magazine then,’ I enquired as he expectorated into the bathroom sink.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘According to an independent survey on spitting this year showed that 300 million Chinese expectorate in public.’
    • ‘The other thing I read this morning in the paper is they are doubling fines for expectorating.’
    • ‘Even the thought of pitchers expectorating on the ball was repulsive to some people.’
    • ‘He looked at me as if I'd expectorated into the ‘stuffing.’’
    • ‘For each sample, they collected saliva in their mouths for a minute, and then expectorated slowly through a straw into a cryotube.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Besides, who could like an instrument where all you do is expectorate into metal tubes!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, sampling may be difficult in the younger patients and in patients with mild disease who do not expectorate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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


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’.