• WordNet 3.6
    • v spat clap one's hands together "The children were clapping to the music"
    • v spat spawn "oysters spat"
    • v spat engage in a brief and petty quarrel
    • v spat clap one's hands or shout after performances to indicate approval
    • v spat strike with a sound like that of falling rain "Bullets were spatting the leaves"
    • v spat become permanently attached "mollusks or oysters spat"
    • v spat come down like raindrops "Bullets were spatting down on us"
    • n spat a young oyster or other bivalve
    • n spat a cloth covering (a legging) that covers the instep and ankles
    • n spat a quarrel about petty points
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A baby eel is called an elver, a baby oyster is called a spat.
    • Spat imp. of Spit.
    • Spat A kind of short cloth or leather gaiter worn over the upper part of the shoe and fastened beneath the instep; -- chiefly in pl.
    • Spat A legging; a gaiter.
    • Spat A light blow with something flat.
    • n Spat A young oyster or other bivalve mollusk, both before and after it first becomes adherent, or such young, collectively.
    • Spat Hence, a petty combat, esp. a verbal one; a little quarrel, dispute, or dissension.
    • v. i Spat To dispute.
    • v. i. & t Spat To emit spawn; to emit, as spawn.
    • v. t Spat To slap, as with the open hand; to clap together; as the hands. "Little Isabel leaped up and down, spatting her hands."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n spat A spot; stain; place.
    • spat To spatter; defile.
    • n spat 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
    • spat To spawn, as an oyster; shed spat.
    • spat To shed or emit (spawn), as an oyster.
    • n spat A light blow or slap.
    • n spat A large drop; a spatter: as, two or three spats of rain fell.
    • n spat A petty contest; a little quarrel or dissension.
    • spat 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.
    • spat To engage in a trivial quarrel or dispute; have a petty contest.
    • spat A preterit of spit.
    • n spat A gaiter or legging.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • pa.t Spat spat of spit, to throw from the mouth.
    • n Spat spat the spawn of shellfish
    • v.i Spat to shed spawn
    • n Spat spat a slap: a large drop, as of rain: a petty quarrel
    • v.t Spat to slap, to strike lightly
    • v.i Spat to engage in a petty quarrel
    • n Spat spat a gaiter or legging—usually in pl.
    • ***


  • Woody Allen
    “Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing Embraceable You in spats.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From the root of spit,; hence, literally, that which is ejected
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

Then he turned on his heel, spat on the floor of the room, and went out before Marzio could find words to resent the fresh insult.
"Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster" by F. Marion Crawford
Bill hesitated, spat into the dust, and turned half away, stroking Jake's roughened shoulder.
"Skyrider" by B. M. Bower
Suddenly he stopped short, spat and backed away, his spine fur a roughened crest.
"Plague Ship" by Andre Norton
Charlie spat forth a string of Spanish curses.
"The Iron Furrow" by George C. Shedd
He stopped at a door guarded by a single soldier, who saluted but spat as soon as Umballa had passed into the throne room.
"The Adventures of Kathlyn" by Harold MacGrath
He raised himself slowly when I came in, and spat.
"Romance" by Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
The Indian spat upon the ground in token of his hatred and contempt for all the black skins in his fatherland.
"The Master of Appleby" by Francis Lynde
Now and then you hear a growl, or see a spat.
"Mrs Whittelsey's Magazine for Mothers and Daughters" by Various
The cat spat viciously, startled by the sudden movement.
"From the Valley of the Missing" by Grace Miller White
She spat in his face and called him all outrageous names that came to her vindictive tongue.
"The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story" by Various

In poetry:

My granddam told me once of one
Whom all her village spat upon,
Seeing the church from out its breast
Had cast him cursed and unconfessed.
"The Song Of The Young Page" by Theodosia Garrison
Let us remember them and their men
Who asked not fee nor fame,
But all they knew was a job to do,
And they spat on their palms and they came.
"The Day Of Little Ships" by Cicely Fox Smith
A rosy brier hings ower the spat,
An' there the mavis bigs her nest:
Ye'll hear her sing at e'en an' morn,
An' see her bonny speckl'd breast.
"The Aul' Kirkyard" by Janet Hamilton
Love is more sweet and comelier
Than a dove’s throat strained out to sing.
All they spat out and cursed at her
And cast her forth for a base thing.
"The Leper" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Though bitter the word of these first twain
Curses the third spat venomously;
'He'll stay untouched till the war's last dawning
Then live one hour of agony.'
"Ballad Of The Three Spectres" by Ivor Gurney
Like the rest, I spat onto the altar
A laugh made of blasphemy and disdain.
But one day my hardness was fatally shaken;
An alarm went off in my repentant heart!
"The Convert" by Antero Tarquinio de Quental

In news:

Boxer criticized global warming skeptics who have "personalized" last month's climate e-mail spat and this week's talks in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Rick Santorum spat out the B and S word at New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, who had asked him an annoying question.
Forgetting your wife's birthday is usually going to be a big problem, and for Florida man Joseph Bray, it led to a martial spat and a night in prison.
China makes move in rare earth trade spat.
Another day, another celeb spat birthed and ended over the Internet.
Bolivians worry spat with US could kill jobs.
UPDATE 1-Romanians vote in poll that may reopen political spat.
Romanians vote in poll that may reopen political spat.
Catoosa County sales tax spat going to mediator.
Democrats hurt selves with League spat.
Tigers Outfielder Suspended Over Alleged Anti- Semitic Spat Here.
A Colorado man faces arson charges after police say he spat.
A man was injured when six members of the Hispanic gang, Sur-13, attacked him during a verbal spat in the Wal-Mart parking lot Friday, Goldsboro police reported Saturday.
Saudis recall envoy in spat .
Virginia and EPA renew Chesapeake Bay spat .

In science:

The gamma-ray emission detected by the LAT is significantly spat ially extended, with a best- fit rms extension of σ = 0.56◦ ± 0.07◦ for an assumed Gaussian model.
Detection of the Pulsar Wind Nebula HESS J1825-137 with the Fermi Large Area Telescope
D. Bohm). The presence of de can change radically the spat ial-temporal distr ibution of probability density. In part icular, a part icle can be found in so-called “needle” states when it is localized str ictly transversely.
Quantum Physics and Nanotechnology
Thus, tunnel transmission coefficients for spat ially localized particles actua lly always differ from those calculated by means of tradit ional formulae.
Quantum Physics and Nanotechnology
Another procedure for computing the non-holomorphic modular form bBa is the so-called background field method [64, 81, 82], where a magnetic B- field is turned on along two of the spat ial directions in four-dimensional Minkowski space.
Gauge Threshold Corrections for N = 2 Heterotic Local Models with Flux, and Mock Modular Forms
The South Pole Acoustic Test Setup (SPATS) has been deployed in the upper 500 m of drill holes for the IceCube neutrino observatory at the geographic South Pole.
Sensor development and calibration for acoustic neutrino detection in ice