American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. A past tense and a past participle of spit1.
- n. An oyster or similar bivalve mollusk in the larval stage, especially when it settles to the bottom and begins to develop a shell.
- n. The spawn of an oyster or a similar mollusk.
- v. To spawn. Used of oysters and similar mollusks.
- n. A cloth or leather gaiter covering the shoe upper and the ankle and fastening under the shoe with a strap. Often used in the plural.
- n. A brief quarrel.
- n. Informal A slap or smack.
- n. A spattering sound, as of raindrops.
- v. To engage in a brief quarrel.
- v. To strike with a light spattering sound; slap.
- v. Informal To slap.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A spot; stain; place.
- To spatter; defile.
- n. The spawn of shell-fish; specifically, the spawn of the oyster; also, a young oyster, or young oysters collectively, up to about the time of their becoming set, or fixed to some support. See
- To spawn, as an oyster; shed spat.
- To shed or emit (spawn), as an oyster.
- n. A light blow or slap.
- n. A large drop; a spatter: as, two or three spats of rain fell.
- n. A petty contest; a little quarrel or dissension.
- To give a light blow to, especially with the flat of the hand; strike lightly; slap: as, to spat dough; to spat one's hands together.
- To engage in a trivial quarrel or dispute; have a petty contest.
- A preterit of spit.
- n. A gaiter or legging.
- v. Simple past tense and past participle of spit.
- n. The spawn of shellfish, especially oysters and similar molluscs.
- v. To spawn. Used of shellfish as above.
- n. A covering or decorative covering worn over a shoe.
- n. automotive (UK, Australia) A piece of bodywork that covers the upper portions of the rear tyres of a car.
- n. a brief argument, fall out, quarrel
- v. to quarrel or argue briefly
- v. transitive and intransitive To strike with a spattering sound.
- v. US, dialect To slap, as with the open hand; to clap together, as the hands.
- n. An obsolete unit of distance in astronomy (symbol S), equal to one billion kilometres.
GNU Webster's 1913
- Obs. or R. imp. of spit.
- n. A young oyster or other bivalve mollusk, both before and after it first becomes adherent, or such young, collectively.
- v. To emit spawn; to emit, as spawn.
- n. U.S. & Prov. Eng. A light blow with something flat.
- n. United States Hence, a petty combat, esp. a verbal one; a little quarrel, dispute, or dissension.
- v. rare To dispute.
- v. Local, U.S. To slap, as with the open hand; to clap together; as the hands.
- n. Scot. & Dial. Eng. A legging; a gaiter.
- n. A kind of short cloth or leather gaiter worn over the upper part of the shoe and fastened beneath the instep; -- chiefly in pl.
- v. become permanently attached
- v. clap one's hands or shout after performances to indicate approval
- n. a young oyster or other bivalve
- v. come down like raindrops
- v. spawn.
- v. engage in a brief and petty quarrel
- n. a quarrel about petty points
- v. strike with a sound like that of falling rain
- v. clap one's hands together
- n. a cloth covering (a legging) that covers the instep and ankles
- Latin spatium ("space") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English.Short for spatterdash : spatter + dash1.Origin unknown. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The decided _spat, spat, spat_ of the reversing blows from the caulked boots sounded like picket firing.”
“He des keep on agoin ', _spat, spat, spat_, an' when he come out front de”
“Joeboy raised first one and then another great stone upon the edge as he was told, and Denham stepped up directly to look between them, but bobbed his head and stepped down again directly, for _spat, spat, spat_, three rifle-bullets struck the stones and fell rattling down.”
“_spat, spat, spat_, three bullets struck stones near us, making it evident that we were well in view, and that the Boers were making targets of the different members of the group.”
“Do you disagree with Professor Tamanaha's statement that the question has been begged, the question being whether or not what Kmiec, in true apologist form, tries to minimize as a "spat" is something about which reasonable minds can disagree, rather than dealing with a fundamentally flawed, non-viable, unreasonable argument?”
“Kind of reminds one of little children in a name calling spat using big words that they have heard, but have no knowledge of what they mean.”
“The word spat so unexpectedly into her ear had precisely the effect Grey must have intended.”
“That is why every sailor in the world, outside the doggeries of Hamburg, felt his calling spat upon and his personal pride injured by the sinking of the _Lusitania_ -- by a sailor.”
“Moratinos, whose country holds the rotating EU Presidency until June, grounded his optimism on his impression that both Macedonia and Greece are making their utmost efforts to resolve their bilateral name spat, which is the only obstacle for the start of accession talks with Skopje.”
“He is dressed in a red jacket with white cuffs, a black and white waistcoat and matching hound's tooth pattern bow tie and trousers with 'spat'-type shoes.”
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