shatter

[shat-er]
verb (used with object)
1.
to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow.
2.
to damage, as by breaking or crushing: ships shattered by storms.
3.
to impair or destroy (health, nerves, etc.): The incident shattered his composure.
4.
to weaken, destroy, or refute (ideas, opinions, etc.): He wanted to shatter her illusions.
verb (used without object)
5.
to be broken into fragments or become weak or insubstantial.
noun
6.
Usually, shatters. fragments made by shattering.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English schateren < ?; cf. scatter

shatterer, noun
shatteringly, adverb
nonshatter, noun
nonshattering, adjective
unshattered, adjective


1. shiver, split, crack. See break.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shatter (ˈʃætə)
 
vb
1.  to break or be broken into many small pieces
2.  (tr) to impair or destroy: his nerves were shattered by the torture
3.  (tr) to dumbfound or thoroughly upset: she was shattered by the news
4.  informal (tr) to cause to be tired out or exhausted
5.  an obsolete word for scatter
 
n
6.  obsolete, dialect or (usually plural) a fragment
 
[C12: perhaps obscurely related to scatter]
 
'shatterer
 
n
 
'shattering
 
adj
 
'shatteringly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shatter
early 14c., probably a variant of M.E. scateren (see scatter). Cf. O.Du. schetteren Low Ger. schateren.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The introduction to academic politics and political correctness was shattering.
The bullet severed the optic nerve in his right eye before shattering his jaw
  and then lodging in his neck near his jugular vein.
But amid the thundering ten-foot waves and shattering spray, hundreds of
  northern fur seals played with nimble abandon.
Perhaps shattering all those taboos might do some good.
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