or putt-putt

[ puht-puht, -puht ]
/ ˈpʌtˈpʌt, -ˌpʌt /


the sound made by a small internal-combustion engine or imitative of its operation.
Informal. a small internal-combustion engine, or something, as a boat or model airplane, equipped with one: the sound of distant put-puts on the lake.

verb (used without object), put-put·ted, put-put·ting.

Informal. to operate with sounds suggesting a put-put, as a small motor or motor-driven device.

Nearby words

  1. put your foot in your mouth,
  2. put-and-take,
  3. put-down,
  4. put-on,
  5. put-out,
  6. put-up,
  7. put-up job,
  8. put-upon,
  9. putamen,
  10. putangitangi

Origin of put-put

First recorded in 1900–05; imitative

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for put-put

British Dictionary definitions for put-put


/ (ˈpʌtˌpʌt) informal /


a light chugging or popping sound, as made by a petrol engine
a vehicle powered by an engine making such a sound

verb -puts, -putting or -putted

(intr) to make or travel along with such a sound
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 put-put


indicating the sound of a muffled internal combustion engine, 1904, imitative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper