verb (used without object)
to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner: to putter in the garden.
to move or go in a specified manner with ineffective action or little energy or purpose: to putter about the house on a rainy day.
to move or go slowly or aimlessly; loiter.
puttering or ineffective action; dawdling.
putter away, to spend or fill in a random, inconsequential, or unproductive way; fritter away; waste: We puttered the morning away.
Also especially British
Origin of putter1
Related formsput·ter·er, nounput·ter·ing·ly, adverb
First recorded in 1875–80;
variant of potter2
a club with a relatively short, stiff shaft and a wooden or iron head, used in putting.
Origin of putter2
First recorded in 1735–45; putt
a person or thing that puts.
Track. a shot-putter.
Origin of putter3
First recorded in 1810–20; put
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for putter
Contemporary Examples of putter
With a photograph of goalkeeper Robert Green on the England team's golf outing, the Sun screamed the headline, " PUTTER FINGERS."
Tiger wears Nike clothing from head to toe, and with the exception of his putter, uses only Nike clubs and balls.
Historical Examples of putter
The devilish thing about you inventors is that you putter so.
"Oh, that's all right," she said carelessly, throwing her putter to the boy.
Seems's if he loved to putter about 'n' fool with things in a room, like women.
Her next boy, Ben, worked with his father in the pit, as a putter.
Dick was now becoming a biggish boy, and he hoped soon to be made a putter.
British Dictionary definitions for putter
a club for putting, usually having a solid metal head
a golfer who putts
(intr; often foll by about or around) to busy oneself in a desultory though agreeable manner
(intr; often foll by along or about) to move with little energy or directionto putter about town
(tr usually foll by away) to waste (time)
Equivalent term (in Britain and certain other countries): potter
Word Origin for putter
C16 (in the sense: to poke repeatedly): from Old English potian to thrust; see put
a person who putsthe putter of a question
a person who puts the shot
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 putter
"keep busy in a rather useless way," 1841, originally among farmers, alteration of potter (v.). Related: Puttered; puttering.
late 14c., "beast that pushes with the head," agent noun from put (v.). As a type of golf club used in putting, from 1743; see putt (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper