(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.