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sputter Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the noise of something spattering or sputtering explosively
    splatter; spatter; spattering; sputtering; splattering; splutter.
    • he heard a spatter of gunfire
  2. noun an utterance (of words) with spitting sounds (as in rage)
  3. verb make an explosive sound
    • sputtering engines
  4. verb cause to undergo a process in which atoms are removed
    • The solar wind protons must sputter away the surface atoms of the dust
  5. verb climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
    shin; shinny; skin; clamber; scramble; struggle.
  6. verb utter with a spitting sound, as if in a rage
  7. verb spit up in an explosive manner
    splutter; spit out.

Sput"ter intransitive verb
From the root of spout or spit to eject from the mputh. Cf. Splutter.
imperfect & past participle Sputtered ; present participle & verbal noun Sputtering
  1. To spit, or to emit saliva from the mouth in small, scattered portions, as in rapid speaking.
  2. To utter words hastily and indistinctly; to speak so rapidly as to emit saliva.
    They could neither of them speak their rage, and so fell a sputtering at one another, like two roasting apples. Congreve.
  3. To throw out anything, as little jets of steam, with a noise like that made by one sputtering.
    Like the green wood . . . sputtering in the flame. Dryden.
Sput"ter transitive verb
  1. 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.
Sput"ter noun
  1. Moist matter thrown out in small detached particles; also, confused and hasty speech.

Webster 1913