[ puht-er ]
/ ˈpʌt ər /

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.

Verb Phrases

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

First recorded in 1875–80; variant of potter2

Related forms

put·ter·er, nounput·ter·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for puttering

British Dictionary definitions for puttering (1 of 3)


/ (ˈpʌtə) /

noun golf

a club for putting, usually having a solid metal head
a golfer who putts

British Dictionary definitions for puttering (2 of 3)


/ (ˈpʌtə) US and Canadian /


(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)


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

British Dictionary definitions for puttering (3 of 3)


/ (ˈpʊtə) /


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