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1. To spit, or to emit saliva from the mouth in small, scattered portions, as in rapid speaking.

2. 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. (Congreve)

3. 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. (Dryden)

Origin: From the root of spout or spit to eject from the mputh. Cf. Splutter.