[ stuht-er ]
/ ˈstʌt ər /
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See synonyms for: stutter / stuttering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with or without object)
to speak in such a way that the rhythm is interrupted by repetitions, blocks or spasms, or prolongations of sounds or syllables, sometimes accompanied by contortions of the face and body.
disordered speech production characterized principally by blocks or spasms interrupting the rhythm.
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Origin of stutter

First recorded in 1520–30; earlier stut (Middle English stutten “to stutter”) + -er6; compare Dutch stotteren, Middle Low German stotern in the same sense

synonym study for stutter

1. See stammer.


stut·ter·er, nounstut·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·stut·tered, adjectiveun·stut·ter·ing, adjective


stammer, stutter (see synonym study at stammer)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does stutter mean?

Stutter is to speak in a way in which the flow of speech is interrupted by repetitions, blocks, or prolonged sounds, as in He became so nervous that he started to stutter.

Stutter also refers to this distortion of speech, as in My uncle was talking to the man with a stutter.

The most commonly known form of stuttering is repetitions, either of partial words, as in I n-n-n-need water, or entire words, as in My-my-my back hurts.

Two other forms of stuttering include prolonged sounds or syllables, as in Sssssshe is nice to me or blocks, which are stops when a person is struggling to get a word out.

The word stammer is often used as a synonym for stutter, especially to describe temporary breaks in speech. However, stutter describes a wider range of speech distortions.

Example: The girl hated speaking in front of the class because her shyness made her stutter and repeat her words.

Where does stutter come from?

The first records of stutter come from around 1520. It comes from the Middle English stut.

When someone is said to have “a stutter,” this usually means the person’s speech pattern has frequent distortions. Especially in adults, this speech pattern has biological causes behind it and is often difficult or impossible to stop if it wasn’t treated as a child. A stutter does not indicate a lack of intelligence or thought.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to stutter?

  • stutterer (noun)
  • stuttering (noun, adjective)
  • stutteringly (adverb)
  • unstuttered (adjective)
  • unstuttering (adjective)

What are some synonyms for stutter?

What are some words that often get used in discussing stutter?

How is stutter used in real life?

Many people stutter sometimes because they are nervous, but a stutter can also be a lifelong speaking disorder.



Try using stutter!

Which of the following words is a synonym of stutter?

A. whisper
B. stammer
C. shout
D. cough

How to use stutter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stutter

/ (ˈstʌtə) /

to speak (a word, phrase, etc) with recurring repetition of consonants, esp initial ones
to make (an abrupt sound) repeatedlythe gun stuttered
the act or habit of stuttering
a stuttering sound

Derived forms of stutter

stutterer, nounstuttering, noun, adjectivestutteringly, adverb

Word Origin for stutter

C16: related to Middle Low German stötern, Old High German stōzan to push against, Latin tundere to beat
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

Medical definitions for stutter

[ stŭtər ]

A phonatory or articulatory disorder characterized by difficult enunciation of words with frequent halting and repetition of the initial consonant or syllable.
To utter with spasmodic repetition or prolongation of sounds.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for stutter

[ stŭtər ]

A speech disorder characterized by spasmodic repetition of the initial consonant or syllable of words and frequent pauses or prolongation of sounds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.