v. sput·tered, sput·ter·ing, sput·ters
1. To spit out or spray particles of saliva or food from the mouth in noisy bursts.
2. To spit out words or sounds in an excited or confused manner.
3. To make sporadic spitting or popping sounds: The fire sputtered and died.
4. Physics To cause the atoms of a solid to be removed from the surface by bombardment with atoms in a discharge tube.
1. To eject in short bursts with spitting or popping sounds.
2. To utter in an excited or confused manner.
3. Physics To coat (a solid surface) with metal atoms by sputtering.
1. The act or sound of sputtering.
2. Matter emitted in sputtering.
3. Excited or confused utterance.
[Probably of Low German origin; akin to Dutch sputteren.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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