verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Examples from the Web for sputter
They continue to sputter up and down, without fully recovering.The Big Idea: Saving the World’s Most Important Fish|Kevin M. Bailey|August 9, 2013|DAILY BEAST
If the only policy tool you allow yourself to use is tax credits, your reform agenda will sputter into ineffectuality.
And racial divisions may become worse if the economy continues to sputter.A Racially Polarized Election Augurs Ill for Barack Obama’s Second Term|Joel Kotkin|November 7, 2012|DAILY BEAST
As his story moves into the present day, it starts to sputter.
Further on there were two female neighbors at their windows, holding candles, which the fog caused to sputter.Notre-Dame de Paris|Victor Hugo
He could only sputter his excuses and withdraw, swearing to catch the arch-conspirator or to die in the attempt.Graustark|George Barr McCutcheon
Even the camp-fire seemed to burn wildly; it did not glow and sputter and pale and brighten and sing like an honest camp-fire.The Border Legion|Zane Grey
Some sputter out as they travel, and are disintegrated, while others continue to glow like a piece of heated iron, for many hours.The Human Aura|Swami Panchadasi
In a moment he is out again with a great rush and sputter, gripping his fish and pip-pipping his exultation.Wood Folk at School|William J. Long
British Dictionary definitions for sputter
- to undergo or cause to undergo a process in which atoms of a solid are removed from its surface by the impact of high-energy ions, as in a discharge tube
- to coat (a film of a metal) onto (a solid surface) by using this process
Word Origin for sputter
Word Origin and History for sputter
1590s, "to spit with explosive sounds," cognate with Dutch sputteren, West Frisian sputterje (see spout). Related: Sputtered; sputtering. The noun is attested from 1670s.