Definition of sputter in English:

sputter

verb

  • 1no object Make a series of soft explosive sounds, typically when being heated or as a symptom of a fault.

    ‘the engine sputtered and stopped’
    • ‘We went on for about five more minutes, and then the car sputtered again, and stopped.’
    • ‘The walls danced with red ochre light as the flame sputtered and spat.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered and smoked and eventually stopped.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered and leaked steam and water, but it ran, better than I'd expected it to.’
    • ‘The chestnuts on the fire sputtered and crackled noisily.’
    • ‘Even our jeep sputtered from lack of oxygen and finally stopped about a mile from the top.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dust filled her lungs, making her sputter and cough.’
    • ‘Sure enough, about 15 minutes later the tap sputtered and a feeble flow of water began.’
    • ‘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 enemy plane, its engine sputtering, lost altitude and turned back toward Pola.’
    • ‘The bike's engine sputtered and then roared back to life as the two of them hopped on.’
    • ‘If the filter gets clogged with dirt, the car sputters and stalls.’
    • ‘The engine sputtered to life, and the car pulled back.’
    • ‘The engine coughed, sputtered, then died altogether.’
    • ‘They made their way back to the door, the fire hissing and sputtering all around them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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 indignation or some other strong emotion.
      with direct speech ‘“But … but …” she sputtered’
      • ‘The young man made a choked coughing sound and sputtered something that sounded like rot in Hell.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I turned red and sputtered something incoherent.’
      • ‘Thompson's face turned red, he recalls, and she sputtered something about having too many events to attend and not enough time.’
      • ‘Yeah, for now, I'm angry enough that I can barely sputter, never mind speak or write coherently.’
      • ‘She was at a loss for words, sputtering incoherently at him.’
      • ‘His wife sputtered incoherently for a moment before shouting, ‘But he cannot afford to marry her!’’
      • ‘Chester sat up in bed painfully, and sputtered some nonsense about suing the hospital.’
      • ‘‘B-But I - he's - this won't work!’ Gabriel sputtered.’
      • ‘‘Your Highness,’ Nicole sputtered, then stopped, still too surprised to say anything more.’
      • ‘Her mouth opened in indignation as she sputtered incoherent, half-formed words.’
      • ‘Myrtle turned red, sputtering something that Nick didn't hear.’
      • ‘‘Well, I'll be damned,’ Jerry sputtered.’
      • ‘The warden sputtered a comment or two in protest, but let himself be led outside.’
      • ‘Mrs. Hastings sputtered incoherently in response before suddenly jumping to her feet in a desperate attempt to compose herself.’
      • ‘Warren saw the expression on her face and I mentally cackled as he immediately started sputtering an apology.’
      • ‘The girl sputtered a few incoherent words and then fainted on the spot.’
    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 or develop in a spasmodic and feeble way.
      ‘strikes in the public services sputtered on’
      • ‘When the economy sputters, insurance payments help fuel consumption and get things back on track.’
      • ‘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 romance sputters thanks to mediocre acting on the part of Gruffudd and Alba.’
      • ‘So long as Europe's largest economy sputters, it is hard to see a real threat of inflation in the region.’
      • ‘The dollar rally also sputtered this week, as the greenback lost about 1%.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, after getting off to a smashing start, the show sputters.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      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 Cover (a surface) with metal by sputter method.
      • ‘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 sounds, typically produced by an engine or by something heating or burning.

    ‘the sputter of the motor died away’
    • ‘Chin heard gasps and sputters in the background.’
    • ‘Inside the building, Paul Meyer and his two young colleagues listened to the sputters of a cheap diesel generator.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The cruiser's engines sparked and roared to life after a few sputters.’
    • ‘Then, with a small sputter of exhaust, the car was off again, pulling away from the lot and off towards the main road.’
    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

/ˈspədər//ˈspədər/