Definition of sputter in English:

sputter

verb

  • 1no object Make a series of soft explosive or spitting sounds.

    ‘the engine sputtered and stopped’
    • ‘The engine sputtered and smoked and eventually stopped.’
    • ‘The walls danced with red ochre light as the flame sputtered and spat.’
    • ‘The enemy plane, its engine sputtering, lost altitude and turned back toward Pola.’
    • ‘The engine coughed, sputtered, then died altogether.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered to life, and the car pulled back.’
    • ‘A second later the engine roared, sputtered and then turned over as the aging car came to life, the noisy motor provoking shrieks of anger from the sparrows nesting amidst the roofs.’
    • ‘A few moments later an engine sputtered from somewhere nearby.’
    • ‘Then, at 5,200 feet, the engine sputtered and, without any input, went up to 72 percent.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered, struggled and finally roared to life.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered and leaked steam and water, but it ran, better than I'd expected it to.’
    • ‘The bike's engine sputtered and then roared back to life as the two of them hopped on.’
    • ‘We went on for about five more minutes, and then the car sputtered again, and stopped.’
    • ‘The chestnuts on the fire sputtered and crackled noisily.’
    • ‘They made their way back to the door, the fire hissing and sputtering all around them.’
    • ‘Behind me, Drew's car sputtered down the street, the sound getting fainter and fainter as he took a corner and drove off into the night.’
    • ‘Even our jeep sputtered from lack of oxygen and finally stopped about a mile from the top.’
    • ‘Sure enough, about 15 minutes later the tap sputtered and a feeble flow of water began.’
    • ‘It roars to life and sputters noisily, but Hill assures me this has nothing to do with the biodiesel; the van just needs some work.’
    • ‘If the filter gets clogged with dirt, the car sputters and stalls.’
    • ‘The dust filled her lungs, making her sputter and cough.’
    hiss, hissing, buzz, buzzing, crackle, crackling, sputter, sputtering, crack, cracking, white noise
    1. 1.1reporting verb Speak in a series of incoherent bursts as a result of strong emotion.
      with direct speech ‘‘But … but …’ she sputtered’
      • ‘I turned red and sputtered something incoherent.’
      • ‘Her mouth opened in indignation as she sputtered incoherent, half-formed words.’
      • ‘Yeah, for now, I'm angry enough that I can barely sputter, never mind speak or write coherently.’
      • ‘The girl sputtered a few incoherent words and then fainted on the spot.’
      • ‘She was at a loss for words, sputtering incoherently at him.’
      • ‘‘B-But I - he's - this won't work!’ Gabriel sputtered.’
      • ‘His wife sputtered incoherently for a moment before shouting, ‘But he cannot afford to marry her!’’
      • ‘Mrs. Hastings sputtered incoherently in response before suddenly jumping to her feet in a desperate attempt to compose herself.’
      • ‘‘Well, I'll be damned,’ Jerry sputtered.’
      • ‘Thompson's face turned red, he recalls, and she sputtered something about having too many events to attend and not enough time.’
      • ‘And it is time for him to stop sputtering ill-tempered threats, not only at the judiciary but also at the U.S. Constitution, which he repeatedly has sworn an oath to uphold.’
      • ‘‘Your Highness,’ Nicole sputtered, then stopped, still too surprised to say anything more.’
      • ‘The young man made a choked coughing sound and sputtered something that sounded like rot in Hell.’
      • ‘Myrtle turned red, sputtering something that Nick didn't hear.’
      • ‘Warren saw the expression on her face and I mentally cackled as he immediately started sputtering an apology.’
      • ‘The warden sputtered a comment or two in protest, but let himself be led outside.’
      • ‘Chester sat up in bed painfully, and sputtered some nonsense about suing the hospital.’
    2. 1.2with object Emit with a spitting sound.
      ‘the goose is in the oven, sputtering fat’
      • ‘The shower head began to spit and sputter out hot water.’
    3. 1.3with adverbial Proceed in a spasmodic and feeble way.
      ‘strikes in the public services sputtered on’
      • ‘The Fed has already cut rates seven times this year, by a total of three full percentage points, to try to reignite sputtering economic growth.’
      • ‘The bubble burst late last year as the economy started sputtering, and now about 10 per cent of credit card debt is more than one month overdue in Asia's fourth-largest economy.’
      • ‘Defeated in Lombardy, the revolution sputtered on in Venice, Tuscany, Rome, and Sicily.’
      • ‘But whether an official recovery comes early or later, the economy will continue to sputter.’
      • ‘These traditionally rural states will continue to struggle, particularly in today's sputtering economy.’
      • ‘The romance sputters thanks to mediocre acting on the part of Gruffudd and Alba.’
      • ‘The U.S. economy seems poised to rebound one moment, then sputters the next.’
      • ‘The central bank is expected to cut interest rates today for the sixth time this year in an effort to boost bank lending and spur sputtering economic growth.’
      • ‘The dollar rally also sputtered this week, as the greenback lost about 1%.’
      • ‘However, after getting off to a smashing start, the show sputters.’
      • ‘When the economy sputters, insurance payments help fuel consumption and get things back on track.’
      • ‘So long as Europe's largest economy sputters, it is hard to see a real threat of inflation in the region.’
      crackle, sputter, buzz, hiss, crack
  • 2Physics
    with object Deposit (metal) on a surface by using fast ions to eject particles of it from a target.

    • ‘We prepared the filters for SEM analysis by sputtering a thin gold film on them.’
    • ‘Thin layers of chromium and gold were sequentially sputtered on the substrates using the following procedure.’
    • ‘Motorola uses the same machinery to deposit the magnetic maternal as that used to sputter the magnetic oxide on to disk drive platters.’
    1. 2.1Coat (a surface) with a spray of metal particles emitted from a target that is bombarded with fast ions.
      ‘Some amber pieces were sputtered with carbon for this treatment and filaments of several amber pieces were scanned.’
      ‘After critical point drying samples were sputtered with gold and investigated in a Zeiss DSM 962 scanning electron microscope.’

noun

  • A series of soft explosive or spitting sounds.

    ‘the sputter of the motor died away’
    • ‘They spoke little, each of them thinking his own thoughts, but it was a companionable silence, punctuated by the sputter and crackle of the fire.’
    • ‘Now I could hear the sputter of machine gun fire; the booms and screeches of torpedoes.’
    • ‘Inside the building, Paul Meyer and his two young colleagues listened to the sputters of a cheap diesel generator.’
    • ‘Then, with a small sputter of exhaust, the car was off again, pulling away from the lot and off towards the main road.’
    • ‘The cruiser's engines sparked and roared to life after a few sputters.’
    • ‘Chin heard gasps and sputters in the background.’
    hiss, hissing, buzz, buzzing, crackle, crackling, sputter, sputtering, crack, cracking, white noise

Origin

Late 16th century (as a verb): from Dutch sputteren, of imitative origin.

Pronunciation

sputter

/ˈspʌtə/