Main definitions of putter in US English:

: putter1putter2putter3

putter1

noun

  • 1A golf club designed for use in putting, typically with a flat-faced head.

    • ‘Second, he imagines that the putter shaft is a giant pencil.’
    • ‘But when I go with the belly putter, everything seems to be right.’
    • ‘Don't worry about aim or how you're gripping the putter, just focus on distance.’
    • ‘I swing the putter at the same pace back and through to control the speed.’
    • ‘To use the long putter, place the top of the grip against your sternum with your left hand.’
  • 2with adjective A golfer considered in terms of putting ability.

    ‘you'll need to be a good putter to break par’
    • ‘She was a poor putter but still won 82 tournaments.’
    • ‘Because he thinks that way, he's able to be a great putter.’
    • ‘You probably are not a very good putter unless you have a really good attitude.’
    • ‘Once he becomes a better putter, there will be no stopping him.’
    • ‘The polish to being a good putter comes from having a regular putting routine.’

Pronunciation

putter

/ˈpədər//ˈpədər/

Main definitions of putter in US English:

: putter1putter2putter3

putter2

noun

  • The rapid intermittent sound of a small gasoline engine.

    • ‘We puttered our way along up Haight St., browsed in Booksmith (excellent bookstore) and then walked back to the car via the rose garden.’
    • ‘Jun summed it up after we puttered around a while together and then came home.’
    • ‘We haul our camera and camping gear, all 600 pounds of it, onto a tiny rubber dinghy and putter out to his boat.’
    • ‘Then we climb back into our SUVs and putter away.’
    • ‘We chatted as the train puttered up into some of the most impressive mountains I'd ever seen.’
    • ‘I had a great time in San Francisco puttering around with Jish.’

verb

  • Move with or make a rapid intermittent sound.

    • ‘He puttered towards the Kilo and spun the wheel quickly to the right, then cut the engines.’
    • ‘I was puttering along happily, doing about 28 mph.’
    • ‘He putters to a piano whilst the band provide gentle harmonies around him.’
    • ‘The silvery Tay turns out to be a dirty brown and the city's Stalinesque tower blocks dominate the skyline as the train putters in from the south.’
    • ‘I've had a grand week off, puttering about here and there, catching up on some sleep, and some reading.’
    • ‘She could hear her mother puttering around in the kitchen, preparing dinner.’
    • ‘There was no familiar puttering sound of a car, which held a boy that couldn't help but hold a spell over me.’
    • ‘The four-speed gearbox had a very low first gear, allowing a farmer to putter along at walking pace behind stock.’
    • ‘By the time we putter slowly down the Sound of Jura, the clouds have cleared and the day has revealed itself to be a classic.’
    • ‘Entering the house, I passed the kitchen where I could hear my mum puttering around.’
    • ‘A small fishing boat putters forth, ‘manned’ by two old women wearing black.’
    • ‘In the background, a little boy was puttering around, curious but embarrassed.’
    • ‘A fishing boat puttered and faded a couple of miles away.’
    • ‘She was puttering around in the kitchen when she heard the faint rumble of the fan kicking on.’
    • ‘The conversation slowly puttered back, like a stalling car, and we were cruising again.’
    • ‘There is a long road ahead to be sure, but the Carly Fiorina engine which many expected to backfire seems to be puttering along okay.’
    • ‘A tourist boat putters by in the canal; the sails of the huge windmill overhead cast long, cool shadows across the road.’
    • ‘During that time, Mark puttered in the engine room, tinkering, and just in general keeping an eye on things.’
    • ‘I think it is likely to be all about exploration first, puttering around Lincolnshire in the little blue Ford.’
    • ‘The sisters spend their days doing little more than puttering in the garden and bickering over dinner.’

Origin

1940s: imitative.

Pronunciation

putter

/ˈpədər//ˈpədər/

Main definitions of putter in US English:

: putter1putter2putter3

putter3

(British potter)

verb

[no object]North American
  • 1Occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant manner, doing a number of small tasks or not concentrating on anything particular.

    ‘early morning is the best time of the day to putter around in the garden’
    • ‘Surely only childishness can induce you to putter around with a computer at a time-critical moment of family crisis, rather than dialing emergency services?’
    • ‘The employees manning these centres are trained to remain unobtrusive and encourage the visitors to potter about, handling the products on display.’
    • ‘He is ‘not really into’ nightclubs and is looking for a quiet house ‘with a nice garden, somewhere to potter about like the old boy I am’.’
    • ‘He had more confidence to get about and could do a lot more - it allowed him to potter about in the house, in the garden and the greenhouse.’
    • ‘Any chance of running some good projects for those of us who putter around in the basement during the winter months?’
    • ‘Instead, the rooftop gardener can putter around doing a little staking and tying here, a little dead-heading of flowers there.’
    • ‘I used to love trotting out of a morning to potter about the wilderness in my gown and pyjamas, all unshaved and generally unkempt.’
    • ‘From April onwards, we potter about outside, spotting gaps where we might plant another beautiful specimen,’
    • ‘So the gang started puttering around with a car recovery system.’
    • ‘So will Marie now close the front door of her home and put on her slippers and potter about the house, now she has mornings on her hands.’
    • ‘I putter around my house all night, taking out trash, yada yada.’
    • ‘With that she wandered back to the kitchen, leaving me to putter around with Robert's system.’
    • ‘You can hike through the forest or along deserted beaches, or potter about in small boats or canoes.’
    • ‘I rush upstairs, turn on the taps and potter about a bit in my dressing gown until the harsh, loud tone of the telephone interrupts me.’
    • ‘I have to have somewhere that I can potter about in - a sanctuary.’
    • ‘We tracked down a house in Malvern where one of them used to live, then went to St Kilda Cemetery to potter about among the graves.’
    • ‘Across the manicured yard a couple of workers putter around the porch.’
    • ‘I sigh in exasperation when they putter around and block the aisles.’
    • ‘We'd putter around her apartment complex, meeting the same friends of hers that I met each time before.’
    • ‘What that really means is that I'm going to potter about with my templates and make lots of unnecessary changes to indulge my need to do something other than study.’
    1. 1.1with adverbial of direction Move or go in a casual, unhurried way.
      ‘the duck putters on the surface of the pond’
      • ‘By the time we putter slowly down the Sound of Jura, the clouds have cleared and the day has revealed itself to be a classic.’
      • ‘So they came and stayed for a little bit, and then puttered off again.’
      • ‘As you putter across the 200 yard channel in the old diesel ferry, the lines of pinpoint lights become knee-high lamps lining the stone pathways.’
      • ‘Last night after I'd done some ferocious blogging and blog-surfing I began to potter home.’
      • ‘Still we puttered on, with the driver himself stopping from time to time asking passers-by on the road, ‘Ashram?’’
      • ‘I think it is likely to be all about exploration first, puttering around Lincolnshire in the little blue Ford.’
      • ‘My parents, as they potter through Camberwell and snooty suburbs walking their dog, chat away with locals and the subject often comes up.’
      • ‘At the end I was ready to be alone for a while, so I walked down through the park to Haight Street and slowly puttered along all afternoon, shopping.’
      • ‘He putters to a piano whilst the band provide gentle harmonies around him.’
      • ‘And after a few pints, I've been known to potter home on it, slow and cautious and wobbly.’
      • ‘I was puttering along happily, doing about 28 mph.’
      • ‘A few minutes passed, and the shuttle puttered past most of the other vessels, who gave it readings and signals to verify its presence and crew.’
      • ‘I trudged to my distant little-green-car and puttered over to Kilbirnie, sun all golden and slanty at my back.’
      • ‘She stood up once the van puttered away and walked back inside.’
      • ‘People are just wandering to church in their purple nylon jackets, or pottering along in rackety Skodas.’
      • ‘She potters from the gates of The House, in its evil-grey uniform, and peers up and down the street.’
      • ‘All was well, and we puttered down the street, at a snails pace (not quite literally) due to all the traffic.’
      • ‘Here he comes, puttering up in his little soapbox derby car with its duck horn.’
      • ‘After opening the funky present from his housemate Meg, he potters off to the shower.’

Origin

Late 19th century (originally US): alteration of potter.

Pronunciation

putter

/ˈpədər//ˈpədər/