• synonyms


[puht-puht, -puht]
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noun, verb (used without object)
  1. put-put.
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or putt-putt

[puht-puht, -puht]
  1. the sound made by a small internal-combustion engine or imitative of its operation.
  2. 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.
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verb (used without object), put-put·ted, put-put·ting.
  1. Informal. to operate with sounds suggesting a put-put, as a small motor or motor-driven device.
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Origin of put-put

First recorded in 1900–05; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for putt-putt

generator, tool, appliance, instrument, motor, weapon, transformer, diesel, turbine, cylinder, apparatus, means, pot, mechanism, fan, contrivance, agent, dynamo, barrel, implement

Examples from the Web for putt-putt

Historical Examples of putt-putt

  • Above the patter of the rain he heard the putt-putt of a motor launch.

    The Pagan Madonna

    Harold MacGrath

British Dictionary definitions for putt-putt


  1. a light chugging or popping sound, as made by a petrol engine
  2. a vehicle powered by an engine making such a sound
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verb -puts, -putting or -putted
  1. (intr) to make or travel along with such a sound
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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 putt-putt


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper