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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ It was just a little spat over who did the dishes last.
▪ The girls were having a spat in the back of the car over who got to use the armrest.
▪ Walter said what happened between him and Marian was just a lovers' spat.
▪ Fritz Juventi from the Valenzuela Perseverance, looking not a day older in his tricorn and spats.
▪ Hell, we still have our spats.
▪ More and more, we are drawn to the divisive spat at the expense of the thoughtful insight.
▪ That evening Uncle Allen bought a pair of spats and put $ 5 down on a black overcoat with a velvet collar.
▪ The clash is expected to be resolved via government pressure and the spat is more sound than substance, say analysts.
▪ This is all a spat between Fidel and that one over there.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spat \Spat\, imp. of Spit. [Obs. or R.]


Spat \Spat\, n. [From the root of spit; hence, literally, that which is ejected.] A young oyster or other bivalve mollusk, both before and after it first becomes adherent, or such young, collectively.


Spat \Spat\, v. i. & t. To emit spawn; to emit, as spawn.


Spat \Spat\, n. [Cf. Pat.]

  1. A light blow with something flat. [U.S. & Prov. Eng.]

  2. Hence, a petty combat, esp. a verbal one; a little quarrel, dispute, or dissension. [U. S.]


Spat \Spat\, v. i. To dispute. [R.]


Spat \Spat\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spatted; p. pr. & vb. n. Spatting.] To slap, as with the open hand; to clap together; as the hands. [Local, U.S.]

Little Isabel leaped up and down, spatting her hands.


Spat \Spat\, n. [Short for Spatterdash.]

  1. A legging; a gaiter. [Scot. & Dial. Eng.]

  2. A kind of short cloth or leather gaiter worn over the upper part of the shoe and fastened beneath the instep; -- chiefly in pl.


Spit \Spit\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spit ( Spat, archaic); p. pr. & vb. n. Spitting.] [AS. spittan; akin to G. sp["u]tzen, Dan. spytte, Sw. spotta,Icel. sp?ta, and prob. E. spew. The past tense spat is due to AS. sp?tte, from sp?tan to spit. Cf. Spat, n., Spew, Spawl, Spot, n.]

  1. To eject from the mouth; to throw out, as saliva or other matter, from the mouth. ``Thus spit I out my venom.''

  2. To eject; to throw out; to belch.

    Note: Spitted was sometimes used as the preterit and the past participle. ``He . . . shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on.''
    --Luke xviii. 32.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"petty quarrel," 1804, American English, of unknown origin; perhaps somehow imitative (compare spat "smack, slap," attested from 1823).


"short gaiter covering the ankle" (usually only in plural, spats), 1779, shortening of spatterdash "long gaiter to keep trousers or stockings from being spattered with mud" (1680s), from spatter and dash (v.).


"spawn of a shellfish," especially "spawn of an oyster," also "a young oyster," 1660s, of unknown origin, perhaps from the past tense of spit (v.1).


Etymology 1 vb. (en-past of: spit) Etymology 2

n. The spawn of shellfish, especially oysters and similar molluscs. vb. (context ambitransitive English) To spawn. Used of shellfish as above. Etymology 3

n. 1 A covering or decorative covering worn over a shoe. 2 (context automotive English) (UK, Australia) A piece of bodywork that covers the upper portions of the rear tyres of a car. Etymology 4

n. a brief argument, falling out, quarrel vb. to quarrel or argue briefly Etymology 5

n. A light blow with something flat. vb. 1 (context transitive and intransitive English) To strike with a spattering sound. 2 (context US dialect English) To slap, as with the open hand; to clap together, as the hands. Etymology 6

n. An obsolete unit of distance in astronomy (symbol S), equal to one billion kilometres.

  1. n. a quarrel about petty points [syn: bicker, bickering, tiff, squabble, pettifoggery, fuss]

  2. a cloth covering (a legging) that provides covering for the instep and ankles [syn: spats, gaiter]

  3. a young oyster or other bivalve

  4. [also: spatting, spatted]

  1. v. come down like raindrops; "Bullets were spatting down on us"

  2. become permanently attached; "mollusks or oysters spat"

  3. strike with a sound like that of falling rain; "Bullets were spatting the leaves"

  4. clap one's hands or shout after performances to indicate approval [syn: applaud, clap, acclaim] [ant: boo]

  5. engage in a brief and petty quarrel

  6. spawn; "oysters spat"

  7. clap one's hands together; "The children were clapping to the music" [syn: clap]

  8. [also: spatting, spatted]

  1. v. expel or eject (saliva or phlegm or sputum) from the mouth; "The father of the victim spat at the alleged murderer" [syn: ptyalize, ptyalise, spew, spue]

  2. utter with anger or contempt [syn: spit out]

  3. rain gently; "It has only sprinkled, but the roads are slick" [syn: sprinkle, spatter, patter, pitter-patter]

  4. drive a skewer through; "skewer the meat for the BBQ" [syn: skewer]

  5. [also: spitting, spitted, spat]

  1. n. a narrow strip of land that juts out into the sea [syn: tongue]

  2. a clear liquid secreted into the mouth by the salivary glands and mucous glands of the mouth; moistens the mouth and starts the digestion of starches [syn: saliva, spittle]

  3. a skewer for holding meat over a fire

  4. the act of spitting (forcefully expelling saliva) [syn: spitting, expectoration]

  5. [also: spitting, spitted, spat]

  1. See spit

  2. [also: spatting, spatted]


Spat may refer to:

  • Spat (unit), a unit of solid angle
  • Spats (footwear), a type of shoe accessory
  • Wheel spats, British term for aerodynamic fairings that reduce the drag on fixed-undercarriage aircraft
  • Spat, the past tense of spit
  • Spat (molluscs), settled larvae of shellfish such as oysters and scallops
  • Spat, the main villain in the game Hamtaro Ham-Ham Heartbreak
  • SPAT, Toamasina Autonomous Port of Madagascar, from French Société de Gestion du Port Autonome de Toamasina
  • S.P.A.T., Polish Special Forces, from Polish Samodzielny Pododdział Antyterrorystyczny Komisariatu Policji
Spat (unit)

The spat (symbol sp), from the Latinspatium ("space"), is a unit of solid angle. 1 spat is equal to 4  steradians or approximately square degrees of solid angle. As such, it is the solid angle subtended by a sphere at its centre.

The spat (symbol S) is also an obsolete unit of distance used in astronomy. It is equal to   kilometres (1  Tm or 10  m). It is about 6.6846 astronomical units (AU), or .

Usage examples of "spat".

No longer protected by anthropocentric gods and goddesses, reason gone flat in its happy capacity to explain away the Mystery, not yet delivered into the hands of the superconsciouswe stare out blankly into that dark and gloomy night, which will very shortly swallow us up as surely as it once spat us forth.

They are dying out day by day in such manner that I fear greatly to see these illustrious fragments of the ancient breviary spat upon, staled upon, set at naught, dishonoured, and blamed, the which I should be loath to see, since I have and bear great respect for the refuse of our Gallic antiquities.

The bullocky spat and waved back, staring openly at Garnet, who had clasped her hands in her lap.

Castro unbuckled himself, leaned over, and spat on Manso again, square in the face.

The next Mong, who had been waiting patiently, squatting with his hands bound behind him, spat in contempt and moved, into place at the edge of the ditch.

Fergus Appleton is a fine-looking guy of maybe forty, with iron-gray hair that makes him appear very romantic, and he is always well dressed in spats and one thing and another, and he smokes cigarettes in a holder nearly a foot long, and wears a watch on one wrist and a slave bracelet on the other, and a big ring on each hand, and sometimes a monocle in one eye, although Ambrose Hammer claims that this is strictly the old ackamarackuss.

She spat at the van, watched the spittle hit pavement, freeze into a lump of pearlized glue chip.

The pale phosphorescence of the carvings gleaming on his naked limbs, Tsabrak spat venom onto his blade.

He chewed the crayon, made a face and spat the bits on Pickwick, who jumped up in fright and ran away to hide.

Twist this, turn that, pull the trigger and a bolt of polychromatic fire spat from the rifles muzzle, vaporizing a fist-sized hole in the metal wall.

Tshamarra sprang to help the procurer as he winced, swayed, and spat blood.

Gippius spat out a line of Pushkin to demonstrate the false spondee in iambic verse, his outworn prosodic terms failed to arouse the nascent poet in his class.

As it hit, it made a sound of a pitch never before heard on earth: a deep, sustained, continuing spat of chemical bonds by the quadrillion snapping in metal.

The quietness spread, from gray eyes that held no hatred for those who spat at her face or tasted her blood, from a voice that could scream in pain yet mouth no curses after, that spoke, between screams, in a steady confirmation of all good.

The racks holding the barrels swayed slightly as I landed and pushed off again, little glowing spits and spats of thick reactive paint spraying behind me as lead chewed the air.