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sputter out

1. Of a motor or engine, to emit a series of irregular, erratic popping or spitting sounds before shutting off. I got the lawnmower running, but it sputtered out before too long. The car started sputtering out while we were in the middle of the highway.
2. Of a flame, to be extinguished after emitting a few final puffs of fire. The candles all sputtered out as the breeze blew through the house. The campfire sputtered out as the rain intensified.
3. Of an action, intention, plan, etc., to gradually decrease or weaken in intensity, enthusiasm, or activity before failing or ceasing altogether. It seems like their plans to get into smartphone app development is beginning to sputter out. No, I don't have a back-up plan—I didn't expect this idea to sputter out so fast. Unfortunately, consumers' enthusiasm for our project sputtered out after we ran into so many delays.
See also: out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sputter something out

to utter something while stuttering or faltering. (As when one is physically or mentally disoriented.) She was so excited she could hardly sputter her name out. He could only sputter out a few words.
See also: out

sputter out

[for a flame] to go out in little puffs. The candle flame flickered and sputtered out. The fire sputtered out after midnight and we all got very cold before down.
See also: out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

sputter out

v.
To make irregular spitting or popping sounds and gradually stop functioning: The motor emitted a puff of smoke and sputtered out.
See also: out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Stollenwerk, "Dependence of oxygen flow on optical and electrical properties of DC-magnetron sputtered ITO films," Thin Solid Films, vol.
The focus deposition parameters will be on discharge power and working pressure, as these parameters have major effect on the properties of the DC and RF sputtered films.
That is attributed to the atomic mass of N atoms that is lighter than Cr atoms; thus, N atoms are prone to being sputtered by impinging ions with high energy [21, 22].
With increasing number of metal atoms, Penning ionization of the sputtered vapour atoms as well as electron impact ionization of neutral gas atoms increases [21].
p was larger than the solubility of B (~1 x [10.sup.20] [cm.sup.-3]) at 900[degrees]C, attributed to the nonequilibrium doping in sputter epitaxy.
The sputter coating has a wide range of applications in different sectors such as medical, aerospace, automobile, optics, electronics, and energy for thin film deposition, etching of targets and surface treatments.
Finally, a 500 nm thick Pd layer deposited at the established optimal sputter regime was integrated in a newly developed microenergy system and subjected to consecutive charging via water electrolysis, followed by a discharging in a fuel cell mode.
The elemental composition is shown on the y-axis and the sputter time (which is proportional to sputter depth) is shown on the x-axis.
* difference in angular distribution of any sputtered component, and
Sprayed and Sputtered Calcium Phosphate Coatings for Medical Implants.
This romp through the games of courtship opens with a telling metaphor: As the men stand in a line, a single woman, aware of her appeal, strides by; the men inflate balloons as she pauses; when she exits, the balloons sputter and spew until limp.
In the sputter process, the metal atoms are driven out of the material and partially ionised by the argon ions.
He could diagnose a car's problems just by listening to its cough or sputter. At 17 he marries a fetching 22-year-old model, but his three children die in infancy.
Rouessac, LMPM/IEM; "Reactive sputter deposition of electrolyte coatings for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells," P.