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Definition of "expectorate" [ex•pec•to•rate]

  • To eject from the mouth; spit. (verb-transitive)
  • To cough up and eject by spitting. (verb-transitive)
  • To spit. (verb-intransitive)
  • To clear out the chest and lungs by coughing up and spitting out matter. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "expectorate" in a sentence
  • "But according to the insta-polls, the electorate, as opposed to what I once called the expectorate, seems to have concluded fairly clearly that Biden “won,” possibly because what the electorate was expecting was a debate between two candidates for Vice-President, not the raw materials for some arcane calculation of who exceeded whose expectations."
  • "But according to the insta-polls, the electorate, as opposed to what I once called the expectorate, seems to have concluded fairly clearly that Biden "won," possibly because what the electorate was expecting was a debate between two candidates for Vice-President, not the raw materials for some arcane calculation of who exceeded whose expectations."
  • "And in a usage book he published a few years ago, Bill Bryson contended that it was wrong to use "expectorate" as a synonym for "spit," since it really means to cough up phlegm from the chest."