Definitions

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

  • n. A spittoon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. spittoon

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any ornamental vessel used as a spittoon; hence, to avoid the common term, a spittoon of any sort.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A spittoon.

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

  • n. a receptacle for spit (usually in a public place)

Etymologies

Portuguese, from cuspir, to spit, from Latin cōnspuere, to spit upon : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + spuere, to spit.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Portuguese cuspidor ("spitter"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Why do they call themselves by the graceful name of "cuspidor" -- suggestive of castanets and Andalusian wiles?

    The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912

  • He spits out the coffee into a large brass cuspidor which is designed for the purpose.

    All About Coffee

  • The house had a stereo with speakers the size of filing cabinets, a beer-filled refrigerator, and a brass cuspidor heaped with sinsemilla.

    Here Comes Another Lesson

  • Other sites include Word Spy, which is great and which a bunch of Wordie commenters have linked to, and My Favorite Word, which claims that Joyce's favorite word was "cuspidor." read more | digg story

    Archive 2007-09-01

  • Pergunta nº1: porque é que eu, ateu descrente, cuspidor em padrecos e pontapeador de bíblias, caio nestas tretas?

    Natal

  • Ben shifted slightly and used a foot pedal to open a bronze cuspidor shaped like a turtle.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • It was an ordinary outer office of the golden-oak variety, with a railing of spindles separating a telephone switchboard and two typewriter desks from two public settles and a brass cuspidor.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • The bed was rickety, with a thin knotty mattress; the sand-colored walls were scratched and gouged; in every corner, under everything, were fluffy dust and cigar ashes; on the tilted wash-stand was a nicked and squatty pitcher; the only chair was a grim straight object of spotty varnish; but there was an altogether splendid gilt and rose cuspidor.

    Main Street

  • Quote from 1909 article: … the famous cuspidor curver … He broke the spitball in and out.

    The Neyer/James Guide To Pitchers

  • Then filling first a cup with tepid water, she brought a large cuspidor for Pao-yü to wash his mouth.

    Hung Lou Meng

Comments

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  • Oh, Theodore, don't spit on the floor
    Please use a cuspidor; that's what it's for

    April 18, 2009

  • Supposedly Joyce's favorite word. If you Google "joyce spitoon" you'll get hundreds of references to this, but I couldn't find an actual source anywhere.

    September 29, 2007