Definition of stutter in English:

stutter

verb

[no object]
  • 1Talk with continued involuntary repetition of sounds, especially initial consonants.

    ‘the child was stuttering in fright’
    • ‘Kayelle continued, stuttering, trying to catch her breath, ‘I didn't know. didn't know what. what.’’
    • ‘When I began stuttering, he continued, ‘Now that should teach you not to spread lies about how I'm incapable of sleeping in my boxers.’’
    • ‘Geb and Sahib stuttered in fright and pointed behind her.’
    • ‘My voice was so hesitant it sounded like I was stuttering.’
    • ‘Give me some time to stammer, stutter and stumble my way through this.’
    • ‘While Richard Pryor is a funny guy - stuttering and stammering are his best qualities - the script doesn't include enough laughs to warrant its 102 minute running time.’
    • ‘I stuttered and stumbled my way through the sentence - he had caught me off guard, I was just trying to focus on getting away from him.’
    stammer, stumble, speak haltingly, falter, speak falteringly, flounder, hesitate, pause, halt
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1reporting verb Say something with difficulty, repeating the initial consonants of words.
      with object ‘he shyly stuttered out an invitation to the cinema’
      with direct speech ‘‘W-what's happened?’ she stuttered’
      • ‘I stuttered an ineffective argument as my old pals shame and embarrassment rose to the fore - thus the vicious circle was complete.’
      • ‘I stuttered a hello back and then glanced down to see if I was wearing a nametag.’
      • ‘Barnabas stutters a bit, and Harrison sees the doll in his hand.’
      • ‘She stutters a few words but soon gets whisked away by some big-shouldered, thunder-browed lawyers.’
      • ‘When he finally caught his breath, he stuttered out, ‘Hahaha!’’
      • ‘My lips parted in my confusion, and I stuttered a bit, embarrassingly, in my need to comprehend exactly what it was he was saying, ‘W-what?’’
      • ‘Stunned, Sara stuttered a few times before saying, ‘What are you doing here?’’
      • ‘she stuttered a bit, ‘please say yes’ Willie said.’
      • ‘In a cracked voice, he stuttered the words, ‘I'm sorry.’’
      • ‘It was obvious he was lying, but he stuttered out, ‘, uh, haven't seen her since we broke up.’’
      • ‘Swallowing hard, trying to remove the lump that casually formed in my dry throat, I stuttered out, ‘Err… hi Seth, how's it going?’’
      • ‘‘This… this… girl ’, stuttered the older guy, ‘Is being totally out of line’.’
      • ‘All that matters is that's the only thing that can explain any of this,’ she stuttered out.’
      • ‘‘Fight,’ he stuttered out and gazed into her dark eyes.’
      • ‘‘N-no,’ Stasia stuttered out, before fixing him with a glare.’
      • ‘‘I - I, I,’ I stuttered out pathetically, being miraculously cut off by a doctor who just exited the emergency room.’
      • ‘‘I think you've got the wrong people,’ Hisei stuttered out nervously, unable to believe she was talking back to these things.’
      • ‘‘It was… Greg,’ Shane stuttered out as a tear slipped down his cheek.’
      • ‘‘I, I… I’ I stuttered out as Kage's arm pressed harder against my windpipe.’
      • ‘He stuttered a bit before looking up to me for help.’
    2. 1.2(of a machine or gun) produce a series of short, sharp sounds.
      ‘she flinched as a machine gun stuttered nearby’
      • ‘Computer screens glow, fax machines stutter out reams of paper and the filing cabinets which line every wall bulge with thousands of documents.’
      • ‘The cabbie walked back to his cab, which stood, engine still stuttering, like a big black hesitation.’
      • ‘The moment the Dura's twin engines stuttered and vibrated into life in a cacophony of backfiring and oily blue smoke, Kara's resolve suddenly deserted her.’
      • ‘Picked-up engine that's been stuttering and stalling’
      • ‘Particularly annoying among the record's contrivances is its frivolous use of drum machines, which skip and stutter when the songs call for simple beats.’
    3. 1.3often as adjective stutteringProgress in an irregular way.
      ‘the stuttering economy’
      • ‘‘Steve has put people in place to do specific jobs and I can't see the progression of the club stuttering,’ he said.’
      • ‘With the economy still stuttering, if you haven't built an emergency fund, now is the time to start socking away money into a bank account or another easily accessible investment.’
      • ‘The robotic, stuttering moves between passes and fast breaks counters any ground the player animations gain, and seems to kill part of the frame rate at times in the process.’
      • ‘As it turned out, their stuttering progress entitled them to an easier second round, from which they went on to win the thing.’
      • ‘Holland flirted with disaster last night though, in the end, the anxiety reared not out on the pitch but in the stands as news was drip-fed through of Germany's stuttering progress in Lisbon.’
      • ‘Until that point all the negotiations had taken place in Scotland between the unions and ScotRail, but in London bosses on both sides had tired of the stuttering progress and public blunders being made by their Scottish satellites.’
      • ‘The stuttering of the Scottish economy is having one unexpected and beneficial side-effect: our politicians are starting to have a mature debate about the persistently low levels of Scottish economic growth.’
      • ‘Wall Street believes that the lack of vigorous job creation from the stuttering US economy may persuade the Federal Reserve Board to postpone an expected increase in American interest rates next month.’
      • ‘Eager to apply his business acumen to the stuttering national economy, Blocher had his eye on the finance ministry, but this went instead to a conservative Free Democrat.’
      • ‘In his speech, Mr Balls contrasted the recovery taking place in Britain and the US with the stuttering economies of the eurozone and Japan.’
      • ‘He gave the Cabinet a deeply gloomy prognosis about the effects of prolonged conflict on an already stuttering world economy.’
      • ‘The markets are left asking whether the stuttering US economy is playing any part in the decision.’
      • ‘The admission of the Brisbane Bears and the West Coast Eagles into the Victorial Football League was the most significant step in the stuttering progress towards a national competition.’
      • ‘There's still - the economy is still just stuttering along.’

noun

  • 1A tendency to stutter while speaking.

    ‘‘She's p-perfectly j-justified,’ he said with his intermittent stutter’
    • ‘Well mannered and quiet, with a stutter in his speaking voice - but not his singing one - Thompson nonetheless has an air of defiance about him.’
    • ‘He knew he was ready, knew it was real, knew it was her, and the words came without a stutter or a stammer.’
    • ‘What a nightmare: being afflicted with a stutter, and having to give an acceptance speech in front of the largest global live audience that a civilian can get.’
    • ‘The Bradford star, who has struggled to overcome his own stutter, is about to sit final speech exams which will qualify him to help others who are verbally challenged.’
    • ‘The Health Service speech and audiology manager, Rose Taylor, said some people's perceptions of the world of speech pathology were confined to lisps and stutters.’
    • ‘To compensate for a lifelong stutter, Walton also overpronounces words, which gives his speech an arrogant twist.’
    • ‘The McGuire programme, which helped him, also enabled Pop Idol Gareth Gates to overcome his stutter and go on to chart success.’
    • ‘Police are said to be were ‘very concerned’ as they searched for Ryan, who suffers with a stutter and is small for his age.’
    • ‘But I shouldn't judge the guy solely on the basis of his stutter and seemingly poor social skills.’
    • ‘He had a stutter and she helped him, and gave him confidence.’
    • ‘She asked several times and I tried to speak but again, it was a struggle and mostly a stutter.’
    • ‘Hines had befriended the girl after she joined the Lollypop Children's Theatre in order to overcome a stutter.’
    • ‘The last time I saw Ralph Ineson he made me shuffle around Tesco supermarket pretending to be an old man with a stutter.’
    • ‘In almost every case, it's the smile, or the stutter, that decides it all.’
    • ‘When you have a stutter, your own language is hard enough, let alone trying something new.’
    • ‘He may have spoken with a slight Liverpool accent and a slight stutter and was carrying a cream Reebok bag and a plastic bag.’
    • ‘She made a sound, a stutter, but couldn't form or think of any words to say.’
    • ‘Mendelssohn also suffered two physical constraints, a hammerlock stutter and a severe curvature of the spine that gave him a hump.’
    • ‘Aidan squeaked, with an added stutter because he was suddenly nervous.’
    • ‘Their laughter was louder than the pastor's stutters.’
    stammer, speech impediment, speech defect
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A series of short, sharp sounds produced by a machine or gun.
      ‘a machine gun shattered the quiet with its explosive stutter’
      • ‘If you go forward it goes forward, if you go back and forth, the image and sound stutters in the DJ style.’
      • ‘Unpleasant like the faint nausea of the initial stutter and sharp turns of a car journey.’
      • ‘The title track and ‘Palermo’ present electronic soundscapes full of blips and stutters, the silver sound of spoons and a humming that could be the sound of muted, slightly exhausted wisdom.’
      • ‘Asking it to keep track of six or seven other players and send out constant messages and update your screen 30 times a second with fabulous 3D graphics is enough to make almost any machine stutter.’
      • ‘With seven tracks clocking in at over an hour, expect some nice, long, drawn-out sound sketches, each slowly building to a sweeping chorus of digital clicks and stutters.’
      • ‘Yet the data clearly suggest that the job machine may have developed a long-term stutter for other reasons.’
      • ‘When I concentrated, I could hear the explosions in the distance, supplemented every once in a while by the stutter of a machinegun or the crack of a rifle.’
      • ‘The video image is sharp, though there is an occasional image stutter on hard cuts.’

Origin

Late 16th century (as a verb): frequentative of dialect stut, of Germanic origin; related to German stossen ‘strike against’.

Pronunciation

stutter

/ˈstʌtə/