splut·​ter | \ ˈsplə-tər How to pronounce splutter (audio) \

Definition of splutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a confused noise (as of hasty speaking)
2 : a splashing or sputtering sound


spluttered; spluttering; splutters

Definition of splutter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to utter hastily or confusedly : stammer

intransitive verb

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

Other Words from splutter


splutterer \ ˈsplə-​tər-​ər How to pronounce splutter (audio) \ 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Aside from the risk of stumbling unawares into street battles and clouds of police tear gas — as some tourists have to their coughing, spluttering dismay — Hong Kong remains a pleasant city. Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2019 Aside from the risk of stumbling unawares into street battles and clouds of police tear gas — as some tourists have to their coughing, spluttering dismay — Hong Kong remains a pleasant city. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Oct. 2019 The 'Baby-Faced Assassin' flattered to deceive at Manchester United, initially looking like the messiah before his Red Devils side started to splutter and choke. SI.com, 17 June 2019 Those eagerly anticipating their next dividend check might be spluttering into their latte in horror at these views. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 1 Nov. 2018 However, the Swans have spluttered in recent weeks and know that conceding the first goal could prove to be damaging against a more resilient Blues outfit of late. SI.com, 13 Apr. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'splutter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of splutter


1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1693, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for splutter


probably alteration of sputter

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Time Traveler for splutter

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The first known use of splutter was in 1677

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Cite this Entry

“Splutter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/splutter. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for splutter


splut·​ter | \ ˈsplə-tər How to pronounce splutter (audio) \
spluttered; spluttering

Kids Definition of splutter

1 : to make a noise as if spitting The engine spluttered.
2 : to speak or say in haste or confusion

More from Merriam-Webster on splutter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for splutter

Britannica English: Translation of splutter for Arabic Speakers


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