sputters, sputtering, sputtered
1) VERB If something such as an engine or a flame sputters, it works or burns in an uneven way and makes a series of soft popping sounds.

The truck sputtered and stopped...

[V prep/adv] Engines sputtered to life again...

[V prep/adv] The flame sputters out.

[V-ing] ...the sputtering engine.

N-COUNT: usu N of n
Sputter is also a noun.

All I could hear was the sputter of the fire.

2) VERB If a process, action, or state of affairs sputters, it progresses slowly and unevenly or starts to end.

The economy is already sputtering, with low or no growth...

[V prep/adv] The battle sputtered to a halt in mid-October...

[V prep/adv] The whole thing sputtered out.

3) VERB If you sputter, you speak with difficulty and make short sounds, especially because you are angry, shocked, or excited.

[V with quote] Stunned, I sputtered, `What do you mean?'...

Our father's face had reddened with rage and he began to sputter...

[V n] He began to sputter his reply.


English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sputter — Sput ter, v. t. To spit out hastily by quick, successive efforts, with a spluttering sound; to utter hastily and confusedly, without control over the organs of speech. [1913 Webster] In the midst of caresses, and without the least pretended… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sputter — Sput ter, n. Moist matter thrown out in small detached particles; also, confused and hasty speech. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sputter — Sput ter (sp[u^]t t[ e]r), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Sputtered} ( t[ e]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Sputtering}.] [From the root of spout or spit to eject from the mouth. Cf. {Splutter}.] 1. To spit, or to emit saliva from the mouth in small, scattered… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sputter — 1590s, to spit with explosive sounds, cognate with Du. sputteren, W.Fris. sputterje (see SPOUT (Cf. spout)). Related: Sputtered; sputtering. The noun is attested from 1670s …   Etymology dictionary

  • sputter — ► VERB 1) make a series of soft explosive sounds. 2) speak in a series of incoherent bursts. ► NOUN ▪ a sputtering sound. ORIGIN Dutch sputteren …   English terms dictionary

  • sputter — [sput′ər] vi. [Du sputteren, freq. < MDu spotten, to spit: for base see SPEW] 1. to spit out drops of saliva, bits of food, etc. in an explosive manner, as when talking excitedly; splutter 2. to speak hastily in a confused, explosive manner 3 …   English World dictionary

  • Sputter — Das Sputtern (aus dem englischen to sputter = zerstäuben) – oder auf deutsch, die Kathodenzerstäubung – ist ein physikalischer Vorgang, bei dem Atome aus einem Festkörper (Target) durch Beschuss mit energiereichen Ionen (vorwiegend Edelgasionen)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • sputter — UK [ˈspʌtə(r)] / US [ˈspʌtər] verb Word forms sputter : present tense I/you/we/they sputter he/she/it sputters present participle sputtering past tense sputtered past participle sputtered 1) [intransitive/transitive] to speak or say something in… …   English dictionary

  • sputter — I. verb Etymology: akin to Dutch sputteren to sputter Date: 1598 transitive verb 1. to spit or squirt from the mouth with explosive sounds 2. to utter hastily or explosively in confusion or excitement < “that s ridiculous!” she sputtered > 3. to… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sputter — See splutter. See splutter, sputter …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

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