To spit is to propel saliva—which is also called spit—from your mouth. Generally speaking, it's rude to spit, particularly if you're at a fancy dinner party.

There are some parts of the world where it's socially acceptable to spit in public, and it was once accepted in most of the West too. During the Middle Ages, Western Europeans found it less polite to "suck back" spit than to, well, spit. And spittoons, receptacles for spitting in, were common until the early 20th century, when the influenza epidemic and public health campaigns about tuberculosis greatly reduced public spitting.

Definitions of spit
  1. noun
    the act of spitting (forcefully expelling saliva)
    synonyms: expectoration, spitting
    see moresee less
    type of:
    ejection, expulsion, forcing out, projection
    the act of expelling or projecting or ejecting
  2. noun
    a clear liquid secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth; moistens the mouth and starts the digestion of starches
    synonyms: saliva, spittle
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    dribble, drivel, drool, slobber
    saliva spilling from the mouth
    tobacco juice
    saliva colored brown by tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco)
    type of:
    a functionally specialized substance (especially one that is not a waste) released from a gland or cell
  3. verb
    expel or eject (saliva or phlegm or sputum) from the mouth
    synonyms: ptyalise, ptyalize, spew, spue
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cough out, cough up, expectorate, spit out, spit up
    discharge (phlegm or sputum) from the lungs and out of the mouth
  4. verb
    utter with anger or contempt
    synonyms: spit out
    see moresee less
    type of:
    emit, let loose, let out, utter
    express audibly; utter sounds (not necessarily words)
  5. verb
    rain gently
    synonyms: patter, pitter-patter, spatter, sprinkle
    see moresee less
    type of:
    rain, rain down
    precipitate as rain
  6. noun
    a skewer for holding meat over a fire
    see moresee less
    a small spit or skewer
    a roasting spit that can be turned
    type of:
    a long pin for holding meat in position while it is being roasted
  7. noun
    a narrow strip of land that juts out into the sea
    synonyms: tongue
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cape, ness
    a strip of land projecting into a body of water
  8. verb
    drive a skewer through
    synonyms: skewer
    see moresee less
    type of:
    pierce with a pin
Word Family

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