A mixture of saliva and mucus coughed up from the respiratory tract, typically as a result of infection or other disease and often examined microscopically to aid medical diagnosis.‘Children may contract enterovirus by direct contact with saliva, sputum or nasal mucus from infected persons.’
spittle, saliva, sputum, slaver, slobber, dribble, drool
- ‘He noted that his chronic, dry cough had produced discolored sputum in recent days.’
- ‘Four days prior to admission, she developed a cough productive of whitish sputum.’
- ‘Analysis of sputum can indicate what disease process may be present in the lungs.’
- ‘Blood-streaked sputum deserves the same diagnostic consideration as blood alone.’
Late 17th century from Latin, neuter past participle of spuere ‘to spit’.