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putter1

[puht-er] /ˈpʌt ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner:
to putter in the garden.
2.
to move or go in a specified manner with ineffective action or little energy or purpose:
to putter about the house on a rainy day.
3.
to move or go slowly or aimlessly; loiter.
noun
4.
puttering or ineffective action; dawdling.
Verb phrases
5.
putter away, to spend or fill in a random, inconsequential, or unproductive way; fritter away; waste:
We puttered the morning away.
Also, especially British, potter.
Origin of putter1
1875-1880
1875-80; variant of potter2
Related forms
putterer, noun
putteringly, adverb

putter2

[puht-er] /ˈpʌt ər/
noun, Golf.
1.
a person who putts.
2.
a club with a relatively short, stiff shaft and a wooden or iron head, used in putting.
Origin
1735-45; putt + -er1

putter3

[poo t-er] /ˈpʊt ər/
noun
1.
a person or thing that puts.
2.
Track. a shot-putter.
Origin
1810-20; put + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for putter
Contemporary Examples
  • With a photograph of goalkeeper Robert Green on the England team's golf outing, the Sun screamed the headline, " putter FINGERS."

  • Tiger wears Nike clothing from head to toe, and with the exception of his putter, uses only Nike clubs and balls.

Historical Examples
  • As soon as he could walk he'd putter forth with me all about my Hill here.

    Rewards and Fairies Rudyard Kipling
  • The devilish thing about you inventors is that you putter so.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • Why need she putter here about a few collars for a young lady in her own circle to wear with her morning dresses?

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • "Oh, that's all right," she said carelessly, throwing her putter to the boy.

    Ravensdene Court J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher
  • He appeared to putter, to have no care or system in his labour.

    Somewhere in Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Her next boy, Ben, worked with his father in the pit, as a putter.

    Taking Tales W.H.G. Kingston
  • No one does here—now, and I'll take my oath you can't tell a brassey from a putter.

    In Brief Authority F. Anstey
  • But though I keep it still and treasure it, I have never played with that putter since.

British Dictionary definitions for putter

putter1

/ˈpʌtə/
noun (golf)
1.
a club for putting, usually having a solid metal head
2.
a golfer who putts

putter2

/ˈpʌtə/
verb
1.
(intransitive;often foll by about or around) to busy oneself in a desultory though agreeable manner
2.
(intransitive;often foll by along or about) to move with little energy or direction: to putter about town
3.
(transitive) usually foll by away. to waste (time)
noun
4.
the act of puttering
Equivalent term (in Britain and certain other countries) potter
Word Origin
C16 (in the sense: to poke repeatedly): from Old English potian to thrust; see put

putter3

/ˈpʊtə/
noun
1.
a person who puts: the putter of a question
2.
a person who puts the shot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for putter
v.

"keep busy in a rather useless way," 1841, originally among farmers, alteration of potter (v.). Related: Puttered; puttering.

n.

late 14c., "beast that pushes with the head," agent noun from put (v.). As a type of golf club used in putting, from 1743; see putt (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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