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Sputter   /spˈətər/   Listen
Sputter

verb
(past & past part. sputtered; pres. part. sputtering)
1.
Make an explosive sound.
2.
Cause to undergo a process in which atoms are removed.
3.
Climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling.  Synonyms: clamber, scramble, shin, shinny, skin, struggle.
4.
Utter with a spitting sound, as if in a rage.  Synonym: splutter.
5.
Spit up in an explosive manner.  Synonyms: spit out, splutter.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Sputter" Quotes from Famous Books



... It did, with a sputter and roar which brought a shouting figure to the door of the house, but Renwick was beyond stopping and turned blindly at the next turning and followed the street through the sleeping town into a well-traveled country road, which led straight ...
— The Secret Witness • George Gibbs

... dark. There was service in the church, and the building glimmered through all its crevices like a dim Kirk Allowa'. I saw few other lights, but was indistinctly aware of many people stirring in the darkness, and a hum and sputter of low talk that sounded stealthy. I believe (in the old phrase) my beard was sometimes on my shoulder as I went. Muller's was but partly lighted, and quite silent, and the gate was fastened. I could by no means manage to undo the latch. No wonder, since ...
— In the South Seas • Robert Louis Stevenson

... giving up the chase, this only spurred them on. They gathered a bundle of wood, piled it up at the foot of the pine, and set fire to it. In a twinkling the tree began to sputter and burn like a candle blown by the wind. Pinocchio saw the flames climb higher and higher. Not wishing to end his days as a roasted Marionette, he jumped quickly to the ground and off he went, the Assassins close to ...
— The Adventures of Pinocchio • C. Collodi—Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini

... slow-match began to sputter Hilary drew back, closed the door of the lantern, and walked backwards aft, towards where the men were gathered. The desire was strong upon him to run and rush right into the far corner of the cabin; but he was a king's officer, and the men looked up to him for ...
— In the King's Name - The Cruise of the "Kestrel" • George Manville Fenn

... man had passed, applied a lighted match to the train, which began to fizz and sputter, and then ran out and followed the rest, shutting the door of the magazine as he went out, in order that the burning fuse ...
— In Times of Peril • G. A. Henty

... and hid behind a lifeboat to await the result. Soon he heard a sputter and a shriek of rage, and the two men came racing down the boat as if pursued by some terror. Up came Frohman, his face ...
— Charles Frohman: Manager and Man • Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman

... it fall on her than you would have laughed to see how the rosy color came back to the dear child's cheek, and how she began to sneeze and sputter, and how astonished she was to find herself dripping wet and her father still throwing ...
— Journeys Through Bookland V2 • Charles H. Sylvester

... A sputter sounded in the radio receiver. Carse turned away from the electelscope and listened to the heavy Venusian voice that was suddenly speaking to him ...
— The Passing of Ku Sui • Anthony Gilmore

... stopped and the spark went out with a sputter. The man stopped writing and wheeled about in his seat. He saw them looking in ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Mammy June's • Laura Lee Hope

... the wrath in Jimmy's cup began to sputter, dissolving into that which in his older sister's heart would have been tears; in Jimmy's heart, it took the form of convulsive sniffling. The boy could hear his sister clattering the breakfast dishes in the kitchen. The thing that ground upon his heart was the firm ...
— The Court of Boyville • William Allen White

... 1685, broke very dark and windy, with dull clouds moving heavily across the sky and a constant sputter of rain. Yet a little after daybreak Monmouth's bugles were blowing in every quarter of the town, from Tone Bridge to Shuttern, and by the hour appointed the regiments had mustered, the roll had been called, and the vanguard was marching briskly out through the eastern gate. ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... no sound was heard, save the weird howling of the wind outside, with an occasional sputter as a stray gust of snow swept down the broad chimney to the roaring fire. Every Grammar School boy, as he dropped off to sleep, knew that a big blizzard was ...
— The Grammar School Boys Snowbound - or, Dick & Co. at Winter Sports • H. Irving Hancock

... find the machine still in one piece and doubly dumbfounded to discover it was behaving in a most unconventional manner. It was emitting a low steady gurgling sound and an occasional sputter or burp. The legs of the machine seemed unsteady. Its body shifted back and forth in herky-jerky motions like an old-fashioned washing machine. The three little Bell Fruit wheels were spinning at the speed of an airplane propellor. Okie thought ...
— Jubilation, U.S.A. • G. L. Vandenburg

... in the glowing coals, sliced the pork thin, laid some slices in the pan and set that upon the coals, where the pork began to sputter ...
— Hiram The Young Farmer • Burbank L. Todd

... again," says I. "And let's pipe the aforesaid fires clean down into the tailin's." So there we sat, thinking better of each other and all creation. The fires of animosity went out with a sputter and we talked large and fine. I don't care; I like to once in a while. I don't travel on stilts much, yet it does a man good to play pretty now and then; besides, you can say things in the Spanish that are all right, but would sound simple-minded in English. English ...
— Red Saunders' Pets and Other Critters • Henry Wallace Phillips

... Bingen," where the French had a post; which and whom the Old Dessauer burnt away. And then Seckendorf, at the head of thirty thousand, he, after long delays, marched to Trarbach in the interior Moselle Country; and got into some explosive sputter of battle with Belleisle, one afternoon,—some say, rather beating Belleisle; but a good judge says, it was a mutual flurry and terror they threw one another into. [OEuvres de Frederic, i. 168.] Seckendorf meant to try again on the morrow: but there came an estafette that night: "Preliminaries ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. IX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... Leaving Rob to sputter over his cooking, Seagraves took his slow way off down toward the oxen grazing in a little hollow. The scene was characteristically, wonderfully beautiful. It was about five o'clock in a day in late June, and ...
— Main-Travelled Roads • Hamlin Garland

... execution. The outer drawbridge has been lowered for Thuriot; new deputation of citizens (it is the third and noisiest of all) penetrates that way into the outer court: soft speeches producing no clearance of these, De Launay gives fire; pulls up his drawbridge; a slight sputter—which has kindled the too combustible chaos; made it a roaring fire-chaos. Bursts forth insurrection at sight of its own blood, (for there were deaths by that sputter of fire,) into endless rolling explosion of musketry, distraction, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... in public to my knowledge, nor within the memory of any man alive today. He was always vivacious, pugnacious, hardly sagacious. He would sputter with rage if you suggested that he was aged enough to be called "venerable." How old was he—for he died suddenly last September at his home somewhere in southeastern Europe? I don't know. His grandson, a man already well advanced in years, wouldn't ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... was grinning. "That's why I spoke of a lock-in. Before we leave, we throw the machines into feedback, every one of them. Lock them into reverberating circuits with a code sequence key. Then all they'll do is buzz and sputter until the feedback is broken with the key. And the key is our secret. It'll tie the Robling office into granny knots, and scabs won't be able to get any more data out of the machines than Torkleson could. With a lawyer to handle ...
— Meeting of the Board • Alan Edward Nourse

... permitted him to witness the miraculous operation of shaving. Nay, more—Coppy had said that even he, Wee Willie Winkie, would rise in time to the ownership of a box of shiny knives, a silver soap-box and a silver-handled "sputter-brush," as Wee Willie Winkie called it. Decidedly, there was no one, except his father, who could give or take away good-conduct badges at pleasure, half so wise, strong, and valiant as Coppy with the Afghan ...
— Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II • Rudyard Kipling

... upstairs, Coonie, the house-boy, bringing up the rear with an armful of sticks and some fat splinters of lightwood, which were soon blazing with an oily sputter. Coonie scented a story, and his bullet pate was bent over the fire an unnecessarily long time, as he blew valiant puffs upon the flames which no longer needed his assistance, and arranged and rearranged his ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume V. (of X.) • Various

... Bud's convertible, parked near the yacht club pier, they found the car completely waterlogged. Its electrical system gave not even a faint sputter or spark. ...
— Tom Swift and The Visitor from Planet X • Victor Appleton

... crackle of machine guns from all sides. Now I realized what it meant. It was war. The Austrians had taken this way to acknowledge Italy's defiance. The enemy had threatened to destroy Venice, and this was their first attempt. Above the sputter of the machine guns and the occasional explosions of shrapnel could be distinguished the buzz of an aeroplane that moment by moment approached nearer. Soon the machine itself became visible, flying oddly enough from the land direction, ...
— The World Decision • Robert Herrick

... Kate. "We have been hoping for a revolution, but had given up the idea—until after the war. Your Socialists either eat out of the Kaiser's hand or sputter and fizzle out. And all your able-bodied ...
— The White Morning • Gertrude Atherton

... gusty and tempestuous, and the moon was all girt with ragged clouds. The wind blew in melancholy gusts, sobbing and sighing over the moor, and setting all the gorse bushes agroaning. From time to time a little sputter of rain pattered up against the window-pane. I sat until near midnight, glancing over the fragment on immortality by Iamblichus, the Alexandrian platonist, of whom the Emperor Julian said that he was posterior to Plato in time but not in genius. At last, shutting up my ...
— Danger! and Other Stories • Arthur Conan Doyle

... things for young hands to deal with. Maisie could not explain how it had happened, but a veil of reeking smoke separated her from Dick, and she was quite certain that the pistol had gone off in his face. Then she heard him sputter, and dropped on her knees beside him, crying, 'Dick, you aren't hurt, are ...
— The Light That Failed • Rudyard Kipling

... by the rapid sputter of rain on the roof. It dribbled through several holes and spread across the floor. He sat up shivering. Shera was a ...
— Collectivum • Mike Lewis

... stood beside him now with eyes that shone with a deep understanding. Under the sputter of the lamp above their heads the two men clasped hands, and the Little Missioner's grip was like the grip ...
— The Courage of Marge O'Doone • James Oliver Curwood

... him. Instantly he had a scheme. In a subdued growl, yet distinctly, he threw over his shoulder an order that eight men should go to the right and eight to the left. Then, on his feet, he sent into the darkness a stern "Halt!" Instantly there was a sputter, arms thrown up, the inevitable "Kamerad!" and Hirondelle ordered the first German to pass him, then a second. Out of the darkness emerged a third. Hirondelle waved him on, and with that there was a fourth. And a fifth. Behold a sixth. About then Hirondelle judged it wise to give more orders ...
— Joy in the Morning • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... he seized the end of a fuse projecting from one of the canisters and held the crimson end of his cigar against it until a sputter of sparks showed that it had caught. From this fuse he turned to the one in the second ...
— In the Shadow of the Hills • George C. Shedd

... enlisted strength of the post was up and out and flocking to hear the tidings. Bentley, the surgeon, had shuffled over in his slippered feet and was giving Dago first aid to the demoralized in the shape of aguardiente Americano, that made him sputter and sneeze, but speedily braced him. The adjutant hurried over to call the commanding officer, passing Harris on the way, and Harris, already in campaign dress, was hastening to the camp of his scouts. Turner, silent and sombre, as was his wont, had elbowed his way through the throng and ...
— Tonio, Son of the Sierras - A Story of the Apache War • Charles King

... disturbing; it might mean only the lull and crash of the breaking night-gusts, and it might mean the north wind, storm, and snow. It whooped down the hollow, scattering the few scrub-oak leaves; it whirled the red embers of the fire away into the dark to sputter in the snow, and blew the burning logs into a white glow. Mescal slept in the shelter of the spruce boughs with Wolf snug and warm beside her. Hare stretched his tired limbs in ...
— The Heritage of the Desert • Zane Grey

... feet from the highway. The girl touched his hand again. "We're safe," she cried, her voice vibrant with excitement, "we're safe at last." From beneath the bonnet, as though in answer to her statement, came a sickly, sucking sputter. The momentum of the car diminished. The throbbing of the engine ceased. They sat in silence as the machine coasted toward the highway and came to a dead stop, with its front wheels upon the road ...
— The Mad King • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... parsley; boil in a small quantity of water, stir in wholemeal flour and milk, add a little pepper and salt, thin with hot water, and thus produce a sauce that helps down vegetables and potatoes. In making a brown sauce we put a little butter or olive oil in the frying-pan; let it bubble and sputter, dredge in Allinson wholemeal flour, stir it round with a knife until browned, add boiling water, pepper, salt, a little ketchup, and you then have a nice brown sauce for many dishes. If we wish to ...
— The Allinson Vegetarian Cookery Book • Thomas R. Allinson

... been one o'clock or later when a bugle sounded. Up and down the long, long line aviators were scrambling into their machines while the sputter and throb of many engines punctured the night air. Some of these engines had as much as three hundred horse-power. The long continuing roar was nerve grating, yet inspiring. Swarms of small scouting machines ...
— Our Pilots in the Air • Captain William B. Perry

... separate bodies, or in one body, wherein the Tiers Etat shall have double representation? The notables are again summoned to decide, but vanish without decision. With those questions still unsettled, the election begins. And presently the national deputies are in Paris. Also there is a sputter; drudgery and rascality rising in Saint-Antoine, finally repressed by Gardes ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII. - Modern History • Arthur Mee

... any rate, let us go to Wittenberg," said I; "get a guide, a carriage, cannot you?" as I walked to one window of the station house and another, and looked out to see something wonderful. Nothing was in sight, however; and after the usual sputter of gutturals which precedes any arrangement in this country, we were mounted in a high, awkward carriage, and rode to the town. Two ancient round tower and a wall first met my eye; then a drawbridge, arched passage, and portcullis. Under this passage we passed, and at our right hand was the church, ...
— Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... present days would be disappointing to one who knew it when each day was filled with trouble and threats of trouble; when the city lay always as if under an impending cloud and when the borders of the bay rang with the thunder of guns and the sputter of musketry. ...
— In Africa - Hunting Adventures in the Big Game Country • John T. McCutcheon

... Thorolfsson's warehouse. While not tall he was neither stunted nor crippled, and easily kept pace with Thorolf. As he set out the silver-bound horn cups to drink skal[1] with his friend in his own lodging, the croak and sputter of German talk sounded in the ...
— Days of the Discoverers • L. Lamprey

... very hollow, and frequent small quick squalls of sleet which brought the wind to us in sharp guns, yet as we could see where we were going, I got the schooner before it, heading her east-north-east, and under a reefed topsail, mainsail, and staysail, the old bucket stormed through it with the sputter and rage of a line-of-battle ship. There was a log-reel and line on deck, and I found a sand-glass in the chest in my cabin in which I had met with the quadrants, perspective glass, and the like, and I kept this log regularly ...
— The Frozen Pirate • W. Clark Russell

... the quays, drawing the strange-looking but cleverly constructed drosky, or cart, bucking into his collar under the yoke and pulling with all his sturdy will, not minding the American "whoa" but obedient enough when the doughboy learned to sputter the ...
— The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki - Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919 • Joel R. Moore

... left was a high projecting rock, a continuation of the high ground that closed in that side of the long slope of V. Beach, and from here came that infernal shower of bullets that was causing such terrible havoc. From the "Clyde" one could easily tell where the bullets were coming from by their sputter in ...
— The Incomparable 29th and the "River Clyde" • George Davidson

... are all simpletons," he exclaimed. "I am not like you, thank fortune! I do not sputter over my soup. Long life to women! Yes, all of them, pretty and otherwise! For, upon my word, there are no ugly ones. I do not notice that Miss Keepsake has feet like the English, and I forget the barmaid's ruddy complexion, if she is attractive otherwise. Now do not talk in ...
— A Romance of Youth, Complete • Francois Coppee

... while the windows still let in only the chilling gray of dawn. Yet he stopped with half his clothes removed, and, going to an improvised shelf in the corner, took down a battered volume. It was not until the lamp warned him of the spent hours with its dying sputter that he laid aside the resonant sentences in which Carlyle had been talking to him of heroes and their worship. In another room across the hall he had heard stirrings for an hour after the silence of sleep had fallen on ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... green-white sputter of a street lamp, Mallare halted. His mind was preoccupied with unraveling the mystery of Rita. He stood, a tall figure without a hat, a slant of black hair across his forehead, and ignoring eyes. A beggar in a ragged overcoat shuffled, ...
— Fantazius Mallare - A Mysterious Oath • Ben Hecht

... leap along the lines, Leap up and hang and swoop and sputter out; A bullet hits a wiring-post and whines; I wish to Heaven that ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Sept. 26, 1917 • Various

... Major Henry began to sputter and growl. A black-eyed boy is as spunky as a red-headed one. And we all stood up, ready, if there was to be a fight. But there wasn't. It wasn't necessary. General Ashley flushed considerably, but ...
— Pluck on the Long Trail - Boy Scouts in the Rockies • Edwin L. Sabin

... scent fountings a-play— 'Taint oder colong, though, by hodds; sulphur strong seems the local bokay. They call this the "Needle Bath," CHARLIE. It give me the needle fust off; 'Cos the spray would git into my eyes, and the squelch made me sputter ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, Sep. 24, 1892 • Various

... and the thought of hot tea was infinitely seductive. Perhaps somewhere one might find a few soldiers round a kettle in some friendly dugout. We groped our way along, holding our breath at times as a shell came sweeping overhead or burst with a sputter of steel against the ramparts. It was profoundly dark, so that only the glowworms glittered like jewels on black velvet. The moon had gone down, and inside Ypres the light of the distant flares only glimmered faintly above the ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

... I know the plop of liquid in a pitcher. So if I spill my milk, I have not the excuse of ignorance. I am also familiar with the pop of a cork, the sputter of a flame, the tick-tack of the clock, the metallic swing of the windmill, the laboured rise and fall of the pump, the voluminous spurt of the hose, the deceptive tap of the breeze at door and window, and many ...
— The World I Live In • Helen Keller

... of Diesel engines, put low flashpoint oil into the fuel tank; the engine will not move. If there already is proper oil in the tank when the wrong kind is added, the engine will only limp and sputter along. ...
— Simple Sabotage Field Manual • Strategic Services

... I gave some to my man, who seemed very glad of it, and liked it very well; but that which was strangest to him, was, to see me eat salt with it. He made a sign to me that the salt was not good to eat; and putting a little into his own month, he seemed to nauseate it, and would spit and sputter at it, washing his mouth with fresh water after it. On the other hand, I took some meat in my mouth without salt, and I pretended to spit and sputter for want of salt, as fast as he had done at the salt; but it would not do, he would never care for salt ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) • Daniel Defoe

... manage it, and by Thursday night the party was actually assembled at 'The Breakers.' There was a sou'easter on that night, but the drift-wood burned stoutly in the wide chimney-piece, with now and then a cheerful sputter as a few stray drops sought to immolate themselves in the green and ...
— The Gates of Chance • Van Tassel Sutphen

... evaporating dish on the wire gauze over a Bunsen burner, and bring the liquid to a boil. Boil it gently until it begins to sputter. Then take the Bunsen burner in your hand and hold it under the dish for a couple of seconds; remove it for a few seconds, and then again hold it under the dish for a couple of seconds; remove it once more, and keep this up until the water has all evaporated and left dry white crystals and ...
— Common Science • Carleton W. Washburne

... the steady breeze, the privateersman rolled ominously towards the lolling Delft. A crash, a sputter of pistols, a crushing of timber, and grappling hooks had pinioned the two war-dogs in a sinister embrace. And—with a wild yell—the Frenchmen plunged upon the reddened decking of the flagship of the courageous Van Wassenaer, ...
— Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea • Charles H. L. Johnston

... bonnets, tight sleeves to the elbow, long silk gloves, and great fans, big enough for a windmill; and of a hot day it was a great amusement to me to watch the bobbing of the little black bonnets, which showed that sleep had got the better of their owners' attention, and the sputter and rustling of the fans, when a more profound nod than common would suddenly waken them, and set them to fanning and listening with redoubled devotion. There was Deacon Dundas, a great wagon load of an old gentleman, whose ample pockets looked as if they might have held half the congregation, ...
— The May Flower, and Miscellaneous Writings • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... the good man's mind; something he had come to say and for his honest life could not get out. His plight became more pitiable as the interview proceeded, and when he rose to go, he grew as red as a turkey-cock and began to sputter. ...
— Simon the Jester • William J. Locke

... at this performance—for it meant much innocent merriment among her guests, and with the lighting of the last lantern, her own day was done. So the brilliant eyes flashed with a fresh fire, and the olive cheek glowed anew. All the men and women laughed as children sputter laughter, when they are both pleased and yet a little ashamed to show their pleasure. It was so very ridiculous, this journey up a rock with a Chinese lantern! But just because it was ridiculous, it was ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... The gun was trained and ready for firing when a sea rolled up on us. The ocean was smooth enough, but the swell was still on—a long swell of the kind that does not sputter, but walk right up and announce their arrival by arriving. This long blue swell rolled ...
— The U-boat hunters • James B. Connolly

... Spaniards must have strengthened their outlying parties in the jungle ahead of us, for they suddenly attacked one of our pickets, wounding Crockett seriously. He was brought in by the other troopers. Evidently the Spanish lines felt a little nervous, for this sputter of shooting was immediately followed by a tremendous fire of great guns and rifles from their trenches and batteries. Our men in the trenches responded heavily, and word was sent back, not only to me, but to the commanders in the rear of the regiments ...
— Rough Riders • Theodore Roosevelt

... as the permit was not forthcoming, "I thought as much. I appoint you witness, Monsieur le Cure, the fellow has no permit." And we swelled the merriment with a forced sputter of ridicule. ...
— A Village of Vagabonds • F. Berkeley Smith

... writing sort. Nor have they failed to write about him, they among the others, about him and about him; and it is notable how little real light, on any point of his existence or environment, they have managed to communicate. Dim indeed, for most part a mere epigrammatic sputter of darkness visible, is the "picture" they have fashioned to themselves of Friedrich and his Country and his Century. Men not "of genius," apparently? Alas, no; men fatally destitute of true eyesight, and of ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. I. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Birth And Parentage.—1712. • Thomas Carlyle

... lit with a sputter, for a moment its fiery blowing filled the deck with smoke, then it darted skyward, with a tremendous swis-s-sh! Up, in a long black column it went, into the very heart of the hot brazen sky, then it exploded with a faint pop, ...
— The Cruise of the Dry Dock • T. S. Stribling

... thought, frantically, of matches, groped along toward the mantelpiece, stumbled over a chair—and clutched at the match box! Something made her open the isinglass slide, strike a match, and touch the blackened wick with the sulphurous sputter of flame,—the next moment, with the lighted lantern in her hand, she was out in the sheeting blackness of the rain!—running!—running!—toward that still figure by the deadened fire. Just before she reached ...
— The Vehement Flame • Margaret Wade Campbell Deland

... course, a terrible clatter; on another, twelve guests, who all had the misfortune to squint, amused their host with their ludicrous cross lights; and on a third, the same number of stutterers entertained him still more, not only by their uncouth impediment, but by the anger with which they began to sputter at one another, on the supposition that each was mocking his neighbor. A short-hand writer, behind the scenes, was employed to take down the conversation, which, says the witty essayist, was easily done, inasmuch as one of the gentlemen was a quarter of an hour in saying "that ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... sulphuric acid. The splinter was expected to blaze when dipped into the acid. Sometimes it did blaze, and sometimes it did not; but it was reasonably certain how the acid would behave, for it would always sputter and do its best to spoil some one's clothes. Nevertheless, even such matches as these were regarded as a wonderful convenience, and were sold at five dollars a hundred. With the next kind of match that ...
— Makers of Many Things • Eva March Tappan

... himself and time; And stand at the ultimate curbstone by the stars, Above dead matches, and smears of paper, and slime; Would the secret of his desire Blossom out of the dark with a burst of fire? Or would he hear the eternal arc-lamps sputter, Only that; and see old shadows crawl; And find the stars were street lamps ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... then she dropped her lids haughtily, swept me from head to foot with one contemptuous glance, and without even the faintest nod in return to my "Bon jour, Madame," she turned to Mrs. P——, who, red with indignation, was trying to sputter out a demand for an explanation, ...
— Stage Confidences • Clara Morris

... up astonished. She had sacrificed her own plans and come to bed for Ethelinda's sake, and now here was the electric light blazing full in her eyes, utterly regardless of her comfort. She was about to sputter an indignant protest when she looked up at the picture. It seemed to smile back at her as if it were a real person with whom she might exchange amused glances. "Did you ever see such colossal unconcern?" she whispered, as if ...
— The Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware • Annie Fellows Johnston

... time watching the candle sputter, then he pulled off his boots and tiptoed to Patsy's bedside. He leaned over her. "Po' little baby," he said; "what do she know about a step-mothah?" And Patsy saw him and heard him, for she was awake then, and far ...
— The heart of happy hollow - A collection of stories • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... the harsh sound spoils the sport, And 'tis like Women keeping Dover Court For when all talk, there's none can lend an ear The others story, and her own to hear; But pull and hall, straining for to sputter What they can hardly afford time to utter. Like as a valiant Captain in the Field, By his Conduct, doth make the Foe to yield; Ev'n so, the leading Bell keeping true time, The rest do follow, none commits a Crime: But if one Souldier runs, ...
— Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing - Wherein is laid down plain and easie Rules for Ringing all - sorts of Plain Changes • Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman

... sputter of the match had died out, Viner had recognized the man who lay dead at his feet. He was a man about whom he had recently felt some curiosity, a man who, a few weeks before, had come to live in a house close to his own, in company with an elderly lady ...
— The Middle of Things • J. S. Fletcher

... boxes, and arrayed ourselves in various garments—which speedily fell to pieces—and appropriated gim-cracks of all sorts. There were some arms, but the ammunition had gone bad. Perdosa, out of forty or fifty mis-fires, got one feeble sputter, and a tremendous bang which blew up his piece, leaving only the stock in his hand. A few tinned goods were edible; but all the rest was destroyed. A lot of hard woods, a thousand feet of chain cable, and a fairly ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... so amazed and delighted that he forgot that he was in the water and started to speak. Of course, the water poured into his open mouth and he began to sputter and choke. ...
— Hazel Squirrel and Other Stories • Howard B. Famous

... hands were presentable, and he had piled-up some more bush where the fire had burned into a hole, the meat began to sputter, and drops of fat to drip in the hot embers, producing odours so attractive to a hungry lad, to whom fresh meat was a luxury, that Dyke's thoughts were completely diverted from the loneliness of his position, and he thought of nothing but the coming dinner as he took from his pocket ...
— Diamond Dyke - The Lone Farm on the Veldt - Story of South African Adventure • George Manville Fenn

... the ugly sputter of the owls, as in the days of old. Their throaty menace and snapping beaks did not stop him nor turn him aside. The slashing scrape of claws in the bark of trees and the occasional crackling of brush were matters of intimate knowledge, and he gave but little attention to them in his ...
— The Country Beyond - A Romance of the Wilderness • James Oliver Curwood

... itself to the first aggressive tides of passion. What it was based on, what it arose from, he could not say. But in the flood-tide of his own tumultuous conquest he had watched her abandoned weeping and her tumbled brown hair. And as he watched, a vague and troubling tingle sped like a fuse-sputter along his limbs, and fired something dormant and dangerous in the great hulk of a body which had never before been stirred by its explosion of emotion. It was not pity, he knew; for pity was something quite foreign to his nature. Yet as she lay back, limp and forlorn against ...
— Never-Fail Blake • Arthur Stringer

... went on smartly. The various societies and interests conferred amicably, and the whole centennial day was blocked out, from the hundred guns at early dawn to the last sputter of the fireworks at midnight. And everything and every one called for money; money for prizes, for souvenirs for entertainment of visitors, for bands, for carriages—a multitude of items, all to be settled for when the great event was ...
— The Skipper and the Skipped - Being the Shore Log of Cap'n Aaron Sproul • Holman Day

... sapless twigs, chatterboxes, who twitter like the swallows, destroyers of the art, whose aptitude is withered with a single piece and who sputter forth all their talent to the tragic Muse at their first attempt. But look where you will, you will not find a creative poet who gives vent to a ...
— The Eleven Comedies - Vol. I • Aristophanes et al

... an ominous sputter, the port engine conked out. The plane lurched and slipped into a dive. Down it whirled again into the steady ...
— The People of the Crater • Andrew North

... the war-sucked air in drought, but he yells defiance at the red-eyed eagle, and in his ears are the bells of new philosophies, and their tinkling drowns the sputter of the burning sword. He shrieks, "God damn you! When you are broken, the word ...
— Men, Women and Ghosts • Amy Lowell

... was started in order that Andy might prepare supper. When this was almost ready peal after peal of thunder suddenly crashed among the cliffs, which seemed to collapse and fall down upon us, and a flood from the sky descended. The fire died without a sputter, everything not in rubber was soaked, and all we could do was to stand in the darkness, cold and hungry, and wait for the deluge to cease. At last we were able to start the fire once more, and had a half-cooked supper before hunting the soft sides of the rocks for beds. The next day it ...
— The Romance of the Colorado River • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... their pates. The grave old man he makes a bustle, And his wise sentence in must justle. Up starts th' Apprentice boy and he Says boldly so and so't must be. The dealer in old shoes to utter His saying too makes no small sputter. Then comes the pert mechanick blade, And contradicts what ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... that fellow. He can't do nothing but sputter if he tries. But I wrote out his orders, and they give him to the twenty-fifth to make the Big Horn. That's maybe something like fifty miles a day, and he's most likely to keep his horses fresh just as long as possible, so as to be good for the last spurt through the ...
— Bob Hampton of Placer • Randall Parrish

... rose to his feet with a certain air of determination, which flamed up oddly above his general weakness, like the last sputter of a candle burned down. "I'm going over and take my medicine—face the music," he said almost sullenly, "She's too good for me—I always knew it. And I haven't treated her right—I've left her out there alone too much. But she wouldn't come to town with me—she said she couldn't ...
— Lonesome Land • B. M. Bower

... imply a kind of dissipation or expansion, especially a quick one, particularly if there be an r, as if it were from spargo or separo: for example, spread, spring, sprig, sprout, sprinkle, split, splinter, spill, spit, sputter, spatter. ...
— A Grammar of the English Tongue • Samuel Johnson

... their Prince was clearly much more than that—a being of a wholly unsimilar construction and constitution, and being of no more blood and kinship with men than are the serene eternal lights of the firmament with the poor dull tallow candles of commerce that sputter and die and leave nothing behind but a pinch of ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the bacon sputter on the fork, And heard his mother's step across the floor. Where did you get that ...
— Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Jean Ingelow

... cried King. "Where can we go? Be quick, Hobbs! Think! Don't sputter like that. I want to be personally conducted, and damned quick ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... when all broken lights have blended again with the Source Light, I'm not so sure that rainbows will seem less important than rows and rows of arc lights and clusters and clusters of incandescent globes. Are you? I can contract an indefinable sort of heartache from the blue sputter of a city light that snuffs out moon and stars for tired scurrying folks: but the opalescent mist-drift of the Rainbow Falls wove heavens for me in its sheen, and through its whirlwind rifts and crystal flaws, far reaches opened up with all the heart's desire at the other end. You shut your eyes ...
— The River and I • John G. Neihardt

... thick, moving, changing. Flickering lights from the camp-fire circled the huge trunks and played fantastically over the brooding men. This camp-fire did not burn or blaze cheerily; it had no glow, no sputter, no white heart, no red, living embers. One by one the outlaws, as if with common consent, tried their hands at making the fire burn aright. What little wood had been collected was old; it would burn up with false flare, only ...
— The Man of the Forest • Zane Grey

... swim. so we went down to the gravil and i peeled off my close and got ready, now said he, you jest wade in up to your waste and squat down and duck your head under. i said the water will get in my nose. he said no it wont jest squat rite down. i cood see him laffin when he thought i wood snort and sputter. ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume X (of X) • Various

... the age of fifty-one, this child of the wilderness, this farm laborer, rail-sputter, flatboatman, this surveyor, lawyer, orator, statesman, and patriot, found himself elected by the great party which was pledged to prevent at all hazards the further extension of slavery, as the chief magistrate of the Republic, bound to carry out that ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... were two female neighbors at their windows, holding candles, which the fog caused to sputter. ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... writ on satin, With syllables which breathe of the sweet South, And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in, That not a single accent seems uncouth, Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural, Which were obliged to hiss, and spit and sputter all. ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... pine cones and other fallen wood, and with the help of the matches soon had a fire. Then they cut strips of bacon and fried them on the ends of sharpened sticks, the sputter making the ...
— The Last of the Chiefs - A Story of the Great Sioux War • Joseph Altsheler

... chat, Now spreading their fans, and now holding them flat; A fan by its play whispers, "Go now!" or "Stay!" "I hate you!" "I love you!"—a fan can say that! Beneath a dwarf tree, here and there, two or three Squat coolies are sipping small cups of green tea; They sputter, and leer, and cry out, and appear Like bad little chessmen gone ...
— Ponkapog Papers • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... this to Sallie?" he asked weakly as he dipped the end of his cigar into his glass of water and watched the sputter with ...
— The Tinder-Box • Maria Thompson Daviess

... every color, size, shape of cat that was ever seen. And they were plunging and leaping and racing about so, that it looked like twice as many cats as there really were, and as if every cat had a dozen tails. "Sfz! Sfz! Sputter! Scratch, spp, spt! Growl, growl, miaow, miaow," they went, till, between the noise and the flying ...
— The Hunter Cats of Connorloa • Helen Jackson

... and that for her mother, and so much for everybody she could think of—that time had no time to be counted at all, but flew by with feathers unheeded. The mutter of the sea became a roar, and the breeze waxed into a heavy gale, and spray began to sputter through the air like suds; but Mary saw the rampart of the rocks before her, and thought that she could easily get back around the point. And her taste began continually to grow more choice, so that she spent as much time in discarding the rubbish ...
— Mary Anerley • R. D. Blackmore

... nothing, and two red sulky faces were hidden in the dark, watching candle after candle sputter, brighten, and twinkle, till the trembling shadows began to flit away like imps ...
— Jack and Jill • Louisa May Alcott

... encouragingly suggested words such as everlasting, everpresent, etc., which might have bearing on the subject previously under discussion. The little man spurned them all with vigorous backings and increased hissings. At last, between a discouraged hiss and a triumphant sputter, the awful word ...
— Captain Pott's Minister • Francis L. Cooper

... was still trying to make himself heard, never noticing three men, who were rolling in behind him a barrel, which they had taken from a nearby store. "I demand that the law be respected, and that I be permitted to—to...." He stopped to sneeze and sputter, for having knocked in the top of the barrel, which contained flour, the three men had emptied its ...
— Hidden Gold • Wilder Anthony

... laughing sound came from the noise of a little spring, spouting half-way down one side of the well. Sometimes as the black things circled round, the trickle from the spring fell upon their tightly-stretched skins, and then the laughter changed into a sputter of mirth. One thing turned over on its back, as I watched, and drifted round and round the circle of the mossy brickwork with a hand and half an arm held clear of the water in a stiff and horrible flourish, ...
— Life's Handicap • Rudyard Kipling

... went like cloud after cloud of lightning-winged insects, and passing, by God's mercy and the Spaniard's bad marksmanship—passing high. Between two crashes, came a sudden sputter, and some singing thing began to play up and down through the trees, and to right and left, in a steady hum. It was a machine gun playing for the range—like a mighty hose pipe, watering earth and trees with a steady, spreading jet of hot lead. It was like some strange, huge monster, unseeing ...
— Crittenden - A Kentucky Story of Love and War • John Fox, Jr.

... cried loudly, "Be calm! I will save her!" And, flinging his coat off, he sprang into the water before anyone could say Jack Robinson. He swam out to the form bobbing in the current, her arm thrown up as if for help; grasped that arm and then uttered a long, choking sputter, shoved Eeny-Meeny violently away from him and swam back to shore. They made valiant attempts not to laugh when he crawled out on the bank, ...
— The Campfire Girls on Ellen's Isle - The Trail of the Seven Cedars • Hildegard G. Frey

... yells Hunter, and darts headlong through the timber back to the stream. There is a sudden burst of shots and yells and soldier cheers; a mighty crash and sputter and thunder of hoofs up the stream-bed; a foot dash, yelling like demons, of the men at the west end in support of the mounted charge in the bed of the stream. For a minute or two the welkin rings with shouts, shots (mainly those of the startled Indians), then there is as sudden a ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... the best classic examples is the drunken Silenus of Herculaneum. Water when combined as a mobile element with immobile works of art, can run, trickle, dash, splash, spray, bubble up, or rise up in a splendid jet. It can hiss and sputter and foam. From the drinking bottle of the drunken Silenus in Herculaneum it must have popped. I have had a plaster-cast model made of the little Pompeian figure of Narcissus at the spring in Naples. It is exquisitely beautiful. I am going to place it somewhere ...
— Atlantis • Gerhart Hauptmann



Words linked to "Sputter" :   vocalization, cough up, utter, noise, let out, utterance, alter, emit, spit up, pop, cough out, splutter, expectorate, let loose, change, modify, climb



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