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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.
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Examples from the web for sputtered
  • Early on, the theater's speaker system sputtered out a half-dozen times, leaving the soundtrack silent for some two minutes.
  • Her career sputtered four years ago after her last major tour was cut short.
  • It was a windy day and the candles borne gingerly at arm's length sputtered and spattered the gorgeous uniform and frock coat.
  • sputtered films also show surface sensitivity to the air but with higher activity.
British Dictionary definitions for sputtered

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
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Word Origin and History for sputtered

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
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