Definition of Sputum

1. Noun. Expectorated matter; saliva mixed with discharges from the respiratory passages; in ancient and medieval physiology it was believed to cause sluggishness.

Exact synonyms: Phlegm
Generic synonyms: Mucous Secretion, Mucus
Derivative terms: Phlegmy

Definition of Sputum

1. n. That which is expectorated; a salival discharge; spittle; saliva.

Definition of Sputum

1. Noun. (physiology) Matter coughed up and expectorated from the mouth, composed of saliva and discharges from the respiratory passages such as mucus, phlegm or pus. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Sputum

1. saliva [n -TA] - See also: saliva

Medical Definition of Sputum

1. Matter ejected from the lungs, bronchi and trachea, through the mouth. This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Sputum

sputtering yield
sputum (current term)
sputum aerogenosum
sputum analysis
sputum culture
sputum for acid-fast organisms
sputum smear
spy on
spy ring
spy rings
spy satellite
spy satellites

Literary usage of Sputum

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. A Treatise on Diagnostic Methods of Examination by Hermann Sahli (1911)
"CONSISTENCE OF THE sputum The consistence of the sputum bears a certain relation to ... If very abundant, a sputum is usually less tenacious than if scanty. ..."

2. Chemical Pathology: Being a Discussion of General Pathology from the by Harry Gideon Wells (1914)
"In reaction, sputum is ordinarily alkaline, but in case of marked ... Renk 8a has studied the proteins of sputum with special reference to the loss of ..."

3. Supplement ... to the Public Health Reports by United States Public Health Service (1920)
"Tuberculosis—Notification of Cases—Instructions to Household—Inspection of Home by Health Officer—sputum Examinations—Precautions by Patient—Sale of ..."

4. The Practitioner by Gale Group, ProQuest Information and Learning Company (1886)
"IT may be doubted whether the present state of our knowledge calls for a special treatise on the sputum, and this book can hardly be said to throw any fresh ..."

5. Monographic Medicine by Albion Walter Hewlett, Henry Leopold Elsner (1916)
"with the rest of the sputum. This mucus from the nasopharynx may be ... When the sputum is purulent it is often difficult to decide whether the pus has had ..."

6. Proceedings by Philadelphia County Medical Society (1904)
"In one case no bacilli could be found on one occasion, and then weeks later the sputum was swarming with them. In another case no sputum could be obtained; ..."

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