- The definition of a sputter is a small explosive sound usually made because something is cooking or because there is a problem.
The quiet explosive sounds a car's engine makes when it is having trouble starting is an example of a sputter.
- Sputter is defined as to make a series of soft explosive sounds, to speak in incoherent bursts of conversation, or to make a sound like spitting.
- When the engine of a car makes soft explosive sounds as it tries to start, this is an example of when it sputters to life.
- When you are frustrated and unhappy with a decision your parents made and you stammer out "wait... wait..." this is an example of when you sputter.
- When butter is spitting in a pan as it is being heated, this is an example of when it sputters.
- to spit out drops of saliva, bits of food, etc. in an explosive manner, as when talking excitedly; splutter
- to speak hastily in a confused, explosive manner
- to make sharp, sizzling or spitting sounds, as burning wood, frying fat, etc.
Origin of sputterDutch sputteren, frequentative from Middle Dutch spotten, to spit: for base see spew
- to spit or throw out (bits or drops) in an explosive manner
- to utter by sputtering
- the act or noise of sputtering
- matter thrown out in sputtering
- hasty, confused, explosive utterance
verbsput·tered, sput·ter·ing, sput·ters
- To spit out or spray particles of saliva or food from the mouth in noisy bursts.
- To spit out words or sounds in an excited or confused manner.
- To make sporadic spitting or popping sounds: The fire sputtered and died.
- Physics To cause the atoms of a solid to be removed from the surface by bombardment with atoms in a discharge tube.
- To eject in short bursts with spitting or popping sounds.
- To utter in an excited or confused manner.
- Physics To coat (a solid surface) with metal atoms by sputtering.
- The act or sound of sputtering.
- Matter emitted in sputtering.
- Excited or confused utterance.
Origin of sputterProbably of Low German origin Dutch sputteren
(third-person singular simple present sputters, present participle sputtering, simple past and past participle sputtered)
- To spit, or to emit saliva from the mouth in small, scattered portions, as in rapid speaking.
- To utter words hastily and indistinctly; to speak so rapidly as to emit saliva.
- To throw out anything, as little jets of steam, with a noise like that made by one sputtering.
- To spit out hastily by quick, successive efforts, with a spluttering sound; to utter hastily and confusedly, without control over the organs of speech.
- In the midst of caresses, and without the last pretend incitement, to sputter out the basest accusations. -Swift.
- (physics, intransitive) To cause surface atoms or electrons of a solid to be ejected by bombarding it with heavy atoms or ions
- (physics) To coat the surface of an object by sputtering
Probably representing Middle English *sputren, *sputrien, a frequentative form of sputen (“to spout, vomit"), equivalent to spout +"Ž -er. Cognate with Eastern Frisian spÃ¼ttern (“to inject, spray, splash"), West Frisian sputterje (“to sputter"), Dutch sputteren (“to sputter"), Low German sputtern, spruttern (“to sprinkle"), German sprudeln (“to spout, squirt"). Compare splutter.