Definition of stutter in US English:

stutter

verb

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

    ‘the child was stuttering in fright’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Geb and Sahib stuttered in fright and pointed behind her.’
    • ‘Give me some time to stammer, stutter and stumble my way through this.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘My voice was so hesitant it sounded like I was stuttering.’
    • ‘Kayelle continued, stuttering, trying to catch her breath, ‘I didn't know. didn't know what. what.’’
    • ‘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 Utter with involuntary repetition of sounds.
      ‘he shyly stuttered out an invitation to the movies’
      with direct speech ‘“W-what's happened?” she stuttered’
      • ‘‘I - I, I,’ I stuttered out pathetically, being miraculously cut off by a doctor who just exited the emergency room.’
      • ‘‘N-no,’ Stasia stuttered out, before fixing him with a glare.’
      • ‘When he finally caught his breath, he stuttered out, ‘Hahaha!’’
      • ‘All that matters is that's the only thing that can explain any of this,’ she stuttered out.’
      • ‘I stuttered an ineffective argument as my old pals shame and embarrassment rose to the fore - thus the vicious circle was complete.’
      • ‘It was obvious he was lying, but he stuttered out, ‘, uh, haven't seen her since we broke up.’’
      • ‘‘I, I… I’ I stuttered out as Kage's arm pressed harder against my windpipe.’
      • ‘‘I think you've got the wrong people,’ Hisei stuttered out nervously, unable to believe she was talking back to these things.’
      • ‘Swallowing hard, trying to remove the lump that casually formed in my dry throat, I stuttered out, ‘Err… hi Seth, how's it going?’’
      • ‘He stuttered a bit before looking up to me for help.’
      • ‘Barnabas stutters a bit, and Harrison sees the doll in his hand.’
      • ‘‘This… this… girl ’, stuttered the older guy, ‘Is being totally out of line’.’
      • ‘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?’’
      • ‘She stutters a few words but soon gets whisked away by some big-shouldered, thunder-browed lawyers.’
      • ‘In a cracked voice, he stuttered the words, ‘I'm sorry.’’
      • ‘I stuttered a hello back and then glanced down to see if I was wearing a nametag.’
      • ‘Stunned, Sara stuttered a few times before saying, ‘What are you doing here?’’
      • ‘she stuttered a bit, ‘please say yes’ Willie said.’
      • ‘‘It was… Greg,’ Shane stuttered out as a tear slipped down his cheek.’
      • ‘‘Fight,’ he stuttered out and gazed into her dark eyes.’
    2. 1.2 (of a machine or gun) produce a series of short, sharp sounds.
      ‘she flinched as a machine gun stuttered nearby’
      • ‘Picked-up engine that's been stuttering and stalling’
      • ‘Computer screens glow, fax machines stutter out reams of paper and the filing cabinets which line every wall bulge with thousands of documents.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

noun

  • 1A tendency to stutter while speaking.

    • ‘She asked several times and I tried to speak but again, it was a struggle and mostly a stutter.’
    • ‘Police are said to be were ‘very concerned’ as they searched for Ryan, who suffers with a stutter and is small for his age.’
    • ‘Aidan squeaked, with an added stutter because he was suddenly nervous.’
    • ‘Mendelssohn also suffered two physical constraints, a hammerlock stutter and a severe curvature of the spine that gave him a hump.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In almost every case, it's the smile, or the stutter, that decides it all.’
    • ‘He had a stutter and she helped him, and gave him confidence.’
    • ‘The McGuire programme, which helped him, also enabled Pop Idol Gareth Gates to overcome his stutter and go on to chart success.’
    • ‘Their laughter was louder than the pastor's stutters.’
    • ‘The last time I saw Ralph Ineson he made me shuffle around Tesco supermarket pretending to be an old man with a stutter.’
    • ‘She made a sound, a stutter, but couldn't form or think of any words to say.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But I shouldn't judge the guy solely on the basis of his stutter and seemingly poor social skills.’
    • ‘He knew he was ready, knew it was real, knew it was her, and the words came without a stutter or a stammer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To compensate for a lifelong stutter, Walton also overpronounces words, which gives his speech an arrogant twist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hines had befriended the girl after she joined the Lollypop Children's Theatre in order to overcome a stutter.’
    stammer, speech impediment, speech defect
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A series of short, sharp sounds produced by a machine or gun.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unpleasant like the faint nausea of the initial stutter and sharp turns of a car journey.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The video image is sharp, though there is an occasional image stutter on hard cuts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you go forward it goes forward, if you go back and forth, the image and sound stutters in the DJ style.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

stutter

/ˈstədər//ˈstədər/