from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To send or force out in or as if in a stream; eject forcefully or in large amounts: a volcano that spewed molten lava; spewed invective at his opponent.
  • transitive v. To vomit or otherwise cast out through the mouth.
  • intransitive v. To flow or gush forth: Water was spewing from the hydrant.
  • intransitive v. To vomit.
  • n. Something spewed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to eject forcibly and in a stream
  • v. to vomit
  • v. to ejaculate
  • v. to laugh unexpectedly while drinking, causing drink to exit the nose
  • n. vomit or sick
  • n. ejaculate

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is vomited; vomit.
  • intransitive v. To vomit.
  • intransitive v. To eject seed, as wet land swollen with frost.
  • transitive v. To eject from the stomach; to vomit.
  • transitive v. To cast forth with abhorrence or disgust; to eject.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To discharge the contents of the stomach; vomit; puke.
  • In gunnery, to run at the mouth: said of a gun which bends at the chase, or whose muzzle droops, from too quick firing.
  • To vomit; puke up or out; eject from or as if from the stomach.
  • To eject as if by retching or heaving; send or cast forth from within; drive by internal force or effort: often used figuratively.
  • To exude grease or become dull on the surface after being finished a short time: said of leather.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. eject or send out in large quantities, also metaphorical
  • v. expel or eject (saliva or phlegm or sputum) from the mouth
  • v. eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth


Middle English spewen, from Old English spīwan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English spīwan, from Proto-Germanic *spīwanan; cognate to the German speien ("to spew, spit, vomit"). Cognate with Albanian shpif ("to disgust, slander"). (Wiktionary)


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  • It is a most terrible bore
    to haemorrhage, spewing up gore,
    and, bubbling for breath,
    be blood-drowned to death.
    Je ne voudrais pas être mort.

    You find the limerick inapposite? Care for a cutely-adapted Adonic?

    After he spewed up
    he was unconscious
    till about tea-time,
    when he woke-up, then
    vomited once more
    (blood and fish-smelling
    purplish matter).

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    July 4, 2008