Adjective "sputtering" definition and examples

(Sputtering may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


Make a series of soft explosive or spitting sounds.
  1. 'A second later the engine roared, sputtered and then turned over as the aging car came to life, the noisy motor provoking shrieks of anger from the sparrows nesting amidst the roofs.'
  2. 'The engine sputtered to life, and the car pulled back.'
  3. 'If the filter gets clogged with dirt, the car sputters and stalls.'
  4. 'The dust filled her lungs, making her sputter and cough.'
  5. 'The enemy plane, its engine sputtering, lost altitude and turned back toward Pola.'
  6. 'The bike's engine sputtered and then roared back to life as the two of them hopped on.'
  7. 'We went on for about five more minutes, and then the car sputtered again, and stopped.'
  8. 'The engine sputtered, struggled and finally roared to life.'
  9. 'Sure enough, about 15 minutes later the tap sputtered and a feeble flow of water began.'
  10. 'The engine sputtered and smoked and eventually stopped.'
  11. with direct speech '‘But … but …’ she sputtered'
  12. '‘Your Highness,’ Nicole sputtered, then stopped, still too surprised to say anything more.'
  13. 'Mrs. Hastings sputtered incoherently in response before suddenly jumping to her feet in a desperate attempt to compose herself.'
  14. 'The warden sputtered a comment or two in protest, but let himself be led outside.'
  15. '‘B-But I - he's - this won't work!’ Gabriel sputtered.'
  16. 'And it is time for him to stop sputtering ill-tempered threats, not only at the judiciary but also at the U.S. Constitution, which he repeatedly has sworn an oath to uphold.'
  17. 'Her mouth opened in indignation as she sputtered incoherent, half-formed words.'
  18. 'His wife sputtered incoherently for a moment before shouting, ‘But he cannot afford to marry her!’'
  19. 'The young man made a choked coughing sound and sputtered something that sounded like rot in Hell.'
  20. 'the goose is in the oven, sputtering fat'
  21. 'strikes in the public services sputtered on'
  22. 'The Fed has already cut rates seven times this year, by a total of three full percentage points, to try to reignite sputtering economic growth.'
  23. 'But whether an official recovery comes early or later, the economy will continue to sputter.'
  24. 'The U.S. economy seems poised to rebound one moment, then sputters the next.'
  25. 'When the economy sputters, insurance payments help fuel consumption and get things back on track.'
  26. 'However, after getting off to a smashing start, the show sputters.'
  27. 'These traditionally rural states will continue to struggle, particularly in today's sputtering economy.'
Deposit (metal) on a surface by using fast ions to eject particles of it from a target.
  1. 'We prepared the filters for SEM analysis by sputtering a thin gold film on them.'
  2. 'After critical point drying samples were sputtered with gold and investigated in a Zeiss DSM 962 scanning electron microscope.'


A series of soft explosive or spitting sounds.
  1. 'Then, with a small sputter of exhaust, the car was off again, pulling away from the lot and off towards the main road.'
  2. 'The cruiser's engines sparked and roared to life after a few sputters.'
  3. 'Chin heard gasps and sputters in the background.'

More definitions

1. Engineering, Electronics. a process that uses ions of an inert gas to dislodge atoms from the surface of a crystalline material, the atoms then being electrically deposited to form an extremely thin coating on a glass, metal, plastic, or other surface.

More examples(as adjective)

"economies can be sputtering."

"targets can be sputtering."

"profits can be sputtering."

"markets can be sputtering."

"recoveries can be sputtering."

More examples++


Late 16th century (as a verb): from Dutch sputteren, of imitative origin.