1

sputter

verb sput·ter \ ˈspə-tər \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of sputter

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 dislodge (atoms) from the surface of a material by collision with high energy particles; also :to deposit (a metallic film) by such a process
intransitive verb
1 :to spit or squirt particles of food or saliva noisily from the mouth
2 :to speak explosively or confusedly in anger or excitement
3 :to make explosive popping sounds

sputterer

noun

Examples of sputter in a Sentence

  1. The motor sputtered and died.

  2. He was sputtering with rage.

  3. She sputtered an angry protest.

  4. “You, you have to be kidding!” he sputtered.

Recent Examples of sputter from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of sputter

akin to Dutch sputteren to sputter


2

sputter

noun

Definition of sputter

1 :confused and excited speech or discussion
2 :the act or sound of sputtering

Recent Examples of sputter from the Web

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

First Known Use of sputter

1673



SPUTTER Defined for English Language Learners

sputter

verb

Definition of sputter for English Language Learners

  • : to make loud sounds like explosions

  • : to speak quickly or in a confused way because you are upset, surprised, etc.


SPUTTER Defined for Kids

1

sputter

verb sput·ter \ ˈspə-tər \

Definition of sputter for Students

sputtered; sputtering
1 :to spit noisily from the mouth
  • She came out of the water coughing and sputtering.
2 :to speak in a hasty or explosive way in confusion or excitement
  • Students sputtered out protests.
3 :to make explosive popping sounds
  • The motor sputtered and died.

2

sputter

noun

Definition of sputter for Students

:the act or sound of sputtering


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