splutter

1 of 2

noun

splut·​ter ˈsplə-tər How to pronounce splutter (audio)
1
: a confused noise (as of hasty speaking)
2
: a splashing or sputtering sound

splutter

2 of 2

verb

spluttered; spluttering; splutters

transitive verb

: to utter hastily or confusedly : stammer

intransitive verb

1
: to make a noise as if spitting
2
: to speak hastily and confusedly
splutterer noun

Examples of splutter in a Sentence

Verb She coughed and spluttered as she climbed out of the icy water. When I demanded an explanation, he just stood there spluttering. “Th-that's simply not true,” he spluttered.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Some golden generations splutter and cough and, sealed in a bubble of entitlement, never come close to delivering. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, 10 July 2018 Government revenue can’t keep up with spending as the economy splutters and politicians squabble before May elections. Donna Abu-Nasr, Bloomberg.com, 5 Mar. 2018 An often excruciating speech was punctuated by coughs, splutters and brief interludes to sip water. James Masters, CNN, 4 Oct. 2017 Its hostility to outsiders splutters on, Griffin's unstinting production (music direction is by Michael Mahler and choreography by Ericka Mac) seems to be saying. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, 1 June 2017 No doubt this debate will rage, or splutter, for years to come. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2017
Verb
Since then the German economy has spluttered like a car that’s continuously stalling as higher energy costs put the brakes on Germany’s vast industrial base. Simon Constable, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 The coach should take some responsibility for that; almost a year into his tenure, his team is still spluttering. Rory Smith, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Soldiers moved past the emergency room and through the cardiology unit, staff said, as gunshots rang out and doctors spluttered through the smoke. Meg Kelly, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 The conveyor belt was ready, the empty bottles were stacked and the machinery was about to splutter into life. Stephen Castle, New York Times, 11 July 2023 Be careful, the cilantro will splutter! Smita Dolan, Bon Appétit, 25 Sep. 2020 The Dangerous Idea at the Heart of Trump's Acquittal Trump’s allies spluttered with rage and scorn. David French, Time, 6 Feb. 2020 Barcelona's attacking three coughed and spluttered at times, but not Suarez. SI.com, 2 Oct. 2019 Wolves have been spluttering all over the place this season, but now have two wins on the trot in all competitions following their last gasp victory over Besiktas. SI.com, 3 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'splutter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

probably alteration of sputter

First Known Use

Noun

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1693, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of splutter was in 1677

Dictionary Entries Near splutter

Cite this Entry

“Splutter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/splutter. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

splutter

1 of 2 noun
splut·​ter ˈsplət-ər How to pronounce splutter (audio)
1
: a confused noise (as of trying to talk too fast)
2
: a splashing or sputtering sound

splutter

2 of 2 verb
1
: to make a noise as if spitting
2
: to speak or say in haste or confusion

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