Definition of sputter in English:

sputter

verb

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

    ‘the engine sputtered and stopped’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even our jeep sputtered from lack of oxygen and finally stopped about a mile from the top.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered to life, and the car pulled back.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dust filled her lungs, making her sputter and cough.’
    • ‘The chestnuts on the fire sputtered and crackled noisily.’
    • ‘The enemy plane, its engine sputtering, lost altitude and turned back toward Pola.’
    • ‘The engine coughed, sputtered, then died altogether.’
    • ‘The bike's engine sputtered and then roared back to life as the two of them hopped on.’
    • ‘They made their way back to the door, the fire hissing and sputtering all around them.’
    • ‘We went on for about five more minutes, and then the car sputtered again, and stopped.’
    • ‘A few moments later an engine sputtered from somewhere nearby.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered, struggled and finally roared to life.’
    • ‘The walls danced with red ochre light as the flame sputtered and spat.’
    • ‘Sure enough, about 15 minutes later the tap sputtered and a feeble flow of water began.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered and leaked steam and water, but it ran, better than I'd expected it to.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered and smoked and eventually stopped.’
    • ‘Then, at 5,200 feet, the engine sputtered and, without any input, went up to 72 percent.’
    hiss, hissing, buzz, buzzing, crackle, crackling, sputter, sputtering, crack, cracking, white noise
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1reporting verb Speak in a series of incoherent bursts as a result of strong emotion.
      with direct speech ‘‘But … but …’ she sputtered’
      • ‘Myrtle turned red, sputtering something that Nick didn't hear.’
      • ‘‘Your Highness,’ Nicole sputtered, then stopped, still too surprised to say anything more.’
      • ‘She was at a loss for words, sputtering incoherently at him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The warden sputtered a comment or two in protest, but let himself be led outside.’
      • ‘Warren saw the expression on her face and I mentally cackled as he immediately started sputtering an apology.’
      • ‘‘B-But I - he's - this won't work!’ Gabriel 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.’
      • ‘Chester sat up in bed painfully, and sputtered some nonsense about suing the hospital.’
      • ‘Her mouth opened in indignation as she sputtered incoherent, half-formed words.’
      • ‘I turned red and sputtered something incoherent.’
      • ‘His wife sputtered incoherently for a moment before shouting, ‘But he cannot afford to marry her!’’
      • ‘The girl sputtered a few incoherent words and then fainted on the spot.’
      • ‘The young man made a choked coughing sound and sputtered something that sounded like rot in Hell.’
      • ‘Yeah, for now, I'm angry enough that I can barely sputter, never mind speak or write coherently.’
    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’
      • ‘So long as Europe's largest economy sputters, it is hard to see a real threat of inflation in the region.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘When the economy sputters, insurance payments help fuel consumption and get things back on track.’
      • ‘The dollar rally also sputtered this week, as the greenback lost about 1%.’
      • ‘However, after getting off to a smashing start, the show sputters.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These traditionally rural states will continue to struggle, particularly in today's sputtering economy.’
      crackle, sputter, buzz, hiss, crack
      View synonyms
  • 2Physics
    with object Deposit (metal) on a surface by using fast ions to eject particles of it from a target.

    • ‘Motorola uses the same machinery to deposit the magnetic maternal as that used to sputter the magnetic oxide on to disk drive platters.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1 Coat (a surface) with a spray of metal particles emitted from a target that is bombarded with fast ions.
      • ‘After critical point drying samples were sputtered with gold and investigated in a Zeiss DSM 962 scanning electron microscope.’
      • ‘Some amber pieces were sputtered with carbon for this treatment and filaments of several amber pieces were scanned.’

noun

  • A series of soft explosive or spitting sounds.

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

sputter

/ˈspʌtə/