follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

sputter

[spuht-er] /ˈspʌt ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to make explosive popping or sizzling sounds.
2.
to emit particles, sparks, etc., forcibly or explosively, especially accompanied by sputtering sounds.
3.
to eject particles of saliva, food, etc., from the mouth in a light spray, as when speaking angrily or excitedly.
4.
to utter or spit out words or sounds explosively or incoherently, as when angry or flustered.
verb (used with object)
5.
to emit (anything) forcibly and in small particles, as if by spitting:
The fire sputtered cinders.
6.
to eject (saliva, food, etc.) in small particles explosively and involuntarily, as in excitement.
7.
to utter explosively and incoherently.
noun
8.
the act or sound of sputtering.
9.
explosive, incoherent utterance.
10.
matter ejected in sputtering.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; sput- (variant of spout) + -er6; cognate with Dutch sputteren
Related forms
sputterer, noun
sputteringly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for sputter
  • sputter coat silicon onto ferrous atoms under a magnetic field's influence.
  • Then mortgage defaults rose, and the economy began to sputter.
  • If property insurance expires in mid-sputter, insurers have the chance to shed their risks before claims erupt.
  • Before you go sputter, please look at the fundamentals.
  • As the market continues to sputter, the fear of another recession grows.
  • The restaurant might fail before it has the chance to sputter to life.
  • They are the sad reminders of careers that burned brightly only to sputter into oblivion.
  • However, a few times in the last four chapters, the storytelling begins to sputter.
  • These materials were sputter deposited onto single-crystal superalloys, followed by various heat treatments.
  • sputter low-e coatings are gaining popularity over pyrolytic low-e coatings.
British Dictionary definitions for sputter

sputter

/ˈspʌtə/
verb
1.
another word for splutter (sense 1), splutter (sense 2), splutter (sense 3)
2.
(physics)
  1. to undergo or cause to undergo a process in which atoms of a solid are removed from its surface by the impact of high-energy ions, as in a discharge tube
  2. to coat (a film of a metal) onto (a solid surface) by using this process
noun
3.
the process or noise of sputtering
4.
incoherent stammering speech
5.
something that is ejected while sputtering
Derived Forms
sputterer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Dutch sputteren, of imitative origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sputter
v.

1590s, "to spit with explosive sounds," cognate with Dutch sputteren, West Frisian sputterje (see spout). Related: Sputtered; sputtering. The noun is attested from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sputter

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sputter

9
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sputter