• WordNet 3.6
    • v sputter spit up in an explosive manner
    • v sputter cause to undergo a process in which atoms are removed "The solar wind protons must sputter away the surface atoms of the dust"
    • v sputter utter with a spitting sound, as if in a rage
    • v sputter climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
    • v sputter make an explosive sound "sputtering engines"
    • n sputter an utterance (of words) with spitting sounds (as in rage)
    • n sputter the noise of something spattering or sputtering explosively "he heard a spatter of gunfire"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sputter Moist matter thrown out in small detached particles; also, confused and hasty speech.
    • v. t Sputter To spit out hastily by quick, successive efforts, with a spluttering sound; to utter hastily and confusedly, without control over the organs of speech. "In the midst of caresses, and without the least pretended incitement, to sputter out the basest accusations."
    • Sputter To spit, or to emit saliva from the mouth in small, scattered portions, as in rapid speaking.
    • Sputter To throw out anything, as little jets of steam, with a noise like that made by one sputtering. "Like the green wood . . . sputtering in the flame."
    • Sputter To utter words hastily and indistinctly; to speak so rapidly as to emit saliva. "They could neither of them speak their rage, and so fell a sputtering at one another, like two roasting apples."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sputter To spit, or eject saliva from the mouth in small or scattered bits; hence, to throw out moisture in small detached parts and with small explosions; emit small particles, as of grease, soot, etc., with some crackling or noise.
    • sputter To speak so rapidly and vehemently as to seem to spit out the words, as in excitement or anger.
    • sputter To emit forcibly in small or scattered portions, as saliva, flame, etc.; spit out noisily.
    • sputter To emit in small particles or amounts with slight explosions: as, the candle sputters smoke; a green stick sputters out steam.
    • sputter To utter rapidly and with indistinctness; jabber.
    • n sputter The act of sputtering.
    • n sputter That which is thrown off or ejected in sputtering.
    • n sputter The noise made by a person who or a thing which sputters; hence, bustle; ado; excited talk; squabble.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Sputter sput′ėr to spit in small drops, as in rapid speaking: to throw out moisture in scattered drops: to speak rapidly and indistinctly, to jabber
    • v.t Sputter to throw out with haste and noise: to utter hastily and indistinctly
    • n Sputter moist matter thrown out in particles
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From the root of spout, or spit, to eject from the mouth. Cf. Splutter


In literature:

For instance, I hold a steel pen in the flame, and it glows and sputters, and falls down in white-hot drops.
"Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20)" by Various
If you don't make a sputter about it, you'll get no credit in England!
"French and English" by Evelyn Everett-Green
He was growing very tired, and often now the point of his pen sputtered.
"The Voice in the Fog" by Harold MacGrath
Oh, to sit about the blue flame of alcohol sputtering underneath the old and battered cooker of sheet-iron!
"A Man's Woman" by Frank Norris
In the faint sputtering glow of the embers by the wayside his face looked white and strained.
"Diane of the Green Van" by Leona Dalrymple
Out into the river they sailed, Eva at the wheel, while Locke busied himself over the sputtering engine.
"The Master Mystery" by Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey
The more the grease sputters or the harder the pot boils, the better.
"Outdoor Sports and Games" by Claude H. Miller
Silence here, too, broken only by the sputtering sizzle of the electrics.
"Empire Builders" by Francis Lynde
The Chinese lanterns smoked and sputtered on the wires; the band had long since gone.
"Four Weird Tales" by Algernon Blackwood
He even sometimes gets righteously indignant, and fairly sputters.
"The Secret of a Happy Home (1896)" by Marion Harland

In poetry:

stop sputtering like a jammed machine gun!
read the verdict."
"Gioconda And Si-Ya-U" by Nazim Hikmet
The machine guns sputtered,
Didn't faze Joe at all-
But evvytime he fired
A cop would fall.
"The Ballad Of Joe Meek" by Sterling A Brown
Aye, let the storm rave o'er the earth;
Their kine are snug in barn and byre;
The apples sputter on the hearth,
The cider simmers on the fire.
"Fido" by Hanford Lennox Gordon
Heer's the same little fishes that sputter an swim,
Wi' the moon's old glim on the grey, wet sand;
An' him no more to me mor me to him
Than the wind goin' over my hand.
"Sea Love" by Charlotte Mary Mew
Mine eyes flashed out with sputtering flame—
The ground kept swimming fast—
And roaming round about there came
Wild laughter in the blast!
A moment—and then all was tame,
Forgotten, painless, past.
"Ned Connor" by Charles Harpur
He laughs at the flaring eagle and makes a long nose with his fingers.
He will fight for smooth, white sheets of paper, and uncurdled ink.
The sputtering sword cannot make him blink, and his thoughts are
wet and rippling. They cool his heart.
"The Allies" by Amy Lowell

In news:

Libraries coping with sputtering economy.
Burn Rubber or Sputter and Die.
In the wake of disasters and a sputtering economy, some eye a rebound on the Gulf Coast.
The Bucs came out strong against Minnesota's sputtering offense.
As Rosa 's health sputtered, so did the Beavers.
Auburn's running game sputters in blowout loss to Georgia.
Ryan Tannehill's rating sinks as Miami Dolphins offense sputters.
Sandy-hit areas sputter back to life.
Miami Dolphins seek solutions for sputtering offense.
As the economy continues to sputter, families are trying to save money where they can.
The London Olympics have been going on for nearly a week now, so are you still just as pumped, or sputtering out.
At Mexican restaurants it is common to hear, and then smell, the fajitas passing by, sputtering and smoking in their cast iron pan.
Data indicates that largest global economies poised for sputtering activity.
I'm sputtering as I write this.
Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch sputtering .

In science:

FIG. 14: Mass removal due to sputtering of (a) LiF and (b) of MgOx by highly charged ions as a function of ion impact energy.
Collisions of Slow Highly Charged Ions with Surfaces
Right ordinate: corresponding sputter yield (in molecules per incident ion).
Collisions of Slow Highly Charged Ions with Surfaces
In these materials a different and more generally applicable mechanism has been identified, “kinetically assisted potential sputtering (KAPS)” .
Collisions of Slow Highly Charged Ions with Surfaces
This interplay, which can be operative in a broad range of materials, makes potential energy induced sputtering a much more wide-spread phenomena.
Collisions of Slow Highly Charged Ions with Surfaces
This is a largely unexplored area of research for potential sputtering.
Collisions of Slow Highly Charged Ions with Surfaces