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splutter

[spluht-er]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to talk rapidly and somewhat incoherently, as when confused, excited, or embarrassed: When pushed for an explanation, he always spluttered.
  2. to make a sputtering sound, or emit particles of something explosively, as water dropped onto a hot griddle.
  3. to fly or fall in particles or drops; spatter, as a liquid.
verb (used with object)
  1. to utter hastily and confusedly or incoherently; sputter: Out of breath, she spluttered a poor excuse for her lateness.
  2. to spatter (a liquid, small particles, etc.).
  3. to bespatter (someone or something).
noun
  1. spluttering utterance or talk; noise or fuss.
  2. a sputtering or spattering, as of liquid.

Origin of splutter

1670–80; blend of splash and sputter
Related formssplut·ter·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for splutter

splutter

verb
  1. to spit out (saliva, food particles, etc) from the mouth in an explosive manner, as through choking or laughing
  2. to utter (words) with spitting sounds, as through rage or choking
  3. Also: sputter to eject or be ejected in an explosive mannersparks spluttered from the fire
  4. (tr) to bespatter (a person) with tiny particles explosively ejectedhe spluttered the boy next to him with ink
noun
  1. the process or noise of spluttering
  2. spluttering incoherent speech, esp in argument
  3. anything ejected through spluttering
Derived Formssplutterer, noun

Word Origin

C17: variant of sputter, influenced by splash
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for splutter

n.

1670s, perhaps a variant of sputter, intensified by the consonant cluster of splash, splatter, etc.

v.

1728, from splutter (n.). Related: Spluttered; spluttering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper