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From Middle English squirten, squyrten, of uncertain origin; probably onomatopoeic. Akin to swirl. Compare Low German swirtjen (to squirt) and Swedish water onomatopoeias skvala, skvalp, skvimpa, and skvätta; Icelandic skvetta; and Norwegian skvette.

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “Whence the "child" sense?”)



squirt (countable and uncountable, plural squirts)

  1. An instrument from which a liquid is forcefully ejected in a small, quick stream.
    • 1890, James George Frazer, The Golden Bough, volume 1, page 277:
      The Karo-Bataks of Sumatra have a rain-making ceremony which lasts a week. The men go about with bamboo squirts and the women with bowls of water, and they drench each other or throw the water into the air and cry, "The rain has come," when it drips down on them.
  2. A small, quick stream; a jet.
    • 2007, Peter Elst, Sas Jacobs, Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0, page 9:
      Chances are you′ll get a squirt of citrus juice in your eye.
  3. (hydrodynamics) The whole system of flow in the vicinity of a source.
  4. A burst of noise.
    • 2011, Andy Mulligan, Return to Ribblestrop:
      As the connection was broken, the receiver let out a shrill squirt of static.
  5. (slang) An annoyingly pretentious person; a whippersnapper. [From 1839.]
    • 1946, Robert Penn Warren, All the King′s Men, published 2005, page 606:
      He was still there when I came up, a squirt with his hat over one eye and a camera hung round his neck and a grin on his squirt face. I thought maybe I had seen him around town, but maybe not, the squirts look so much alike when they grind them out of journalism school.
  6. (UK, US, Australia, slang) A small child.
    Hey squirt! Where you been?
    • 1986, Alethea Helbig, Agnes Perkins, Cutlass Island, entry in Dictionary of American Children′s Fiction, 1960-1984: Recent Books of Recognized Merit, page 137,
      Hurd returns with Mal, Mr. Eph, and Gumbo, the “town squirt” of twelve, and the boys′ activities come out.
    • 2010, Karen Witemeyer, A Tailor-Made Bride, Bethany House Publishers, US, page 66,
      How the child managed to converse and fold at the same time was a marvel, yet the shirt lay in a tidy rectangle by the time she came up for air.
      “Thanks, squirt.” He winked at her and she giggled.
  7. (slang, vulgar, uncountable) Female ejaculate.
  8. (informal) An act of urination.
    Excuse me, I need to take a squirt.
  9. (kayaking) A maneuver in which the boat is forced into a nearly vertical position.


  • (instrument that forcefully ejects liquid):
  • (small, quick stream):
  • (annoyingly pretentious person):
  • (small child): ankle-biter

Derived terms[edit]



squirt (third-person singular simple present squirts, present participle squirting, simple past and past participle squirted)

  1. (intransitive, of a liquid) To be thrown out, or ejected, in a rapid stream, from a narrow orifice.
    The toothpaste squirted from the tube.
  2. (transitive, of a liquid) To cause to be ejected, in a rapid stream, from a narrow orifice.
    • 1815 February 24, [Walter Scott], Guy Mannering; or, The Astrologer. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), Edinburgh: [] James Ballantyne and Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; and Archibald Constable and Co., [], →OCLC:
      The hard-featured miscreant [] coolly rolled his tobacco in his cheek, and squirted the juice into the fire grate.
    • 1985, The Living Australia, Dangerous Australians: The Complete Guide to Australia′s Most Deadly Creatures, Murdoch Books, published 2002, page 88:
      It can squirt this poison in jets up to a distance of one metre and usually aims at the eyes of its victim.
    • 2005, Lisa Heard, NancyRayhorn, 8: Pediatric Sedation, Jan Odom-Forren, Donna Watson, Practical Guide To Moderate Sedation/Analgesia, 2nd Edition, page 171,
      When administering the medication, the RN should place the syringe tip along the side of the mouth and slowly squirt the medicine toward the buccal vestibule, not toward the throat.
    • 2011, James Balch, Mark Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, unnumbered page:
      Use a dropper and squirt the desired amount in the side of the child′s mouth.
  3. (transitive, by extension) To emit, eject or excrete (something).
    • 2022 September 29, Carl Zimmer, “A New Approach to Spotting Tumors: Look for Their Microbes”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Among the hallmarks that all fungi share is the way they eat. They squirt out enzymes to break down nearby organic material and then soak it in. Fungi can also produce vast number of spores, which can survive in all sorts of extreme conditions for years.
  4. (transitive) To hit with a rapid stream of liquid.
    • 2010, Christy Isbell, Mighty Fine Motor Fun: Fine Motor Activities for Young Children, page 81:
      Ask the child to squirt the target with water.
  5. (transitive, figuratively, obsolete) To throw out or utter words rapidly; to prate.
  6. (intransitive, slang, vulgar, of a female) To ejaculate.
    • 2010, Sonia Borg, Oral Sex She′ll Never Forget, page 9:
      Women who squirt rhapsodize about the experience, reporting that it elicits feelings of empowerment and a deeper connection to their own bodies.
  7. (kayaking) To forcefully maneuver against the current so that the end of the boat is forced nearly vertical.
    • 2000, Eric Brymer, Tom Hughes, Loel Collins, The Art of Freestyle, page 62:
      Let's start by assuming that you are going to tail squirt as you leave an eddy andd enter the flowing water.


  • (to be ejected in a rapid stream):
  • (to cause to be ejected in a rapid stream):
  • (to eject a rapid stream at):
  • (to speak rapidly):
  • ((of a female) to ejaculate):

Derived terms[edit]


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