- 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.
- Informal. to operate with sounds suggesting a put-put, as a small motor or motor-driven device.
Origin of put-put
First recorded in 1900–05; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for putt-putt
Above the patter of the rain he heard the putt-putt of a motor launch.The Pagan Madonna
- a light chugging or popping sound, as made by a petrol engine
- a vehicle powered by an engine making such a sound
- (intr) to make or travel along with such a sound
Word Origin and History for putt-putt
indicating the sound of a muffled internal combustion engine, 1904, imitative.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper