putter

A golfer who hits the ball very gently close to the hole is a putter. The club used to do this is also a putter. But to putter is to poke around aimlessly, maybe watch a little golf on TV.

In golf, the putter is the club with the flat face, and sometimes with a slightly bent shaft. When you hit the ball with a putter, you putt. If you putter, it's something completely different — it means you make yourself busy without accomplishing anything huge. You might putter around the house on Saturday afternoon, filling the dishwasher and flipping through a magazine, for example. The golfing meaning comes from a Scottish word for "push or shove."

Definitions of putter
  1. noun
    a golfer who is putting
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    type of:
    golf player, golfer, linksman
    someone who plays the game of golf
  2. noun
    the iron normally used on the putting green
    synonyms: putting iron
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    type of:
    iron
    a golf club that has a relatively narrow metal head
  3. verb
    do random, unplanned work or activities or spend time idly
    synonyms: mess around, monkey, monkey around, muck about, muck around, potter, tinker
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    types:
    puddle
    mess around, as in a liquid or paste
    type of:
    work
    exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity
  4. verb
    move around aimlessly
    synonyms: potter, potter around, putter around
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    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  5. verb
    work lightly
    synonyms: potter
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    type of:
    busy, occupy
    keep busy with
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