putter

1
[puht-er]
See more synonyms for putter on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner: to putter in the garden.
  2. 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.
  3. to move or go slowly or aimlessly; loiter.
noun
  1. puttering or ineffective action; dawdling.
Verb Phrases
  1. putter away, to spend or fill in a random, inconsequential, or unproductive way; fritter away; waste: We puttered the morning away.
Also especially British, potter.

Origin of putter

1
First recorded in 1875–80; variant of potter2
Related formsput·ter·er, nounput·ter·ing·ly, adverb

putter

2
[puht-er]
noun Golf.
  1. a person who putts.
  2. a club with a relatively short, stiff shaft and a wooden or iron head, used in putting.

Origin of putter

2
First recorded in 1735–45; putt + -er1

putter

3
[poo t-er]
noun
  1. a person or thing that puts.
  2. Track. a shot-putter.

Origin of putter

3
First recorded in 1810–20; put + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for putter

loiter, niggle, poke, mess, doodle, puddle, tinker, fiddle, fritter, potter

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."

    The Daily Beast logo
    World Cup Primer

    Joshua Robinson

    June 12, 2010

  • Tiger wears Nike clothing from head to toe, and with the exception of his putter, uses only Nike clubs and balls.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The $100 Million Car Crash

    Gerald Posner

    November 29, 2009

Historical Examples of putter

  • The devilish thing about you inventors is that you putter so.

    The Forbidden Trail

    Honor Willsie

  • "Oh, that's all right," she said carelessly, throwing her putter to the boy.

    Ravensdene Court

    J. S. (Joseph Smith) Fletcher

  • Seems's if he loved to putter about 'n' fool with things in a room, like women.

    A Philanthropist

    Josephine Daskam

  • Her next boy, Ben, worked with his father in the pit, as a putter.

    Taking Tales

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Dick was now becoming a biggish boy, and he hoped soon to be made a putter.

    Taking Tales

    W.H.G. Kingston


British Dictionary definitions for putter

putter

1
noun golf
  1. a club for putting, usually having a solid metal head
  2. a golfer who putts

putter

2
verb
  1. (intr; often foll by about or around) to busy oneself in a desultory though agreeable manner
  2. (intr; often foll by along or about) to move with little energy or directionto putter about town
  3. (tr usually foll by away) to waste (time)
noun
  1. the act of puttering
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

putter

3
noun
  1. a person who putsthe putter of a question
  2. 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
v.

"keep busy in a rather useless way," 1841, originally among farmers, alteration of potter (v.). Related: Puttered; puttering.

n.

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