a small, thin, sharp piece of wood, bone, or the like, split or broken off from the main body.
verb (used with object)
to split or break into splinters.
to break off (something) in splinters.
to split or break (a larger group) into separate factions or independent groups.
Obsolete. to secure or support by a splint or splints, as a broken limb.
verb (used without object)
to be split or broken into splinters.
to break off in splinters.

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; cf. splint

splinterless, adjective
splintery, adjective
unsplintered, adjective

1. sliver. 8. separate, part, split.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
splinter (ˈsplɪntə)
1.  a very small sharp piece of wood, glass, metal, etc, characteristically long and thin, broken off from a whole
2.  a metal fragment, from the container of a shell, bomb, etc, thrown out during an explosion
3.  to reduce or be reduced to sharp fragments; shatter
4.  to break or be broken off in small sharp fragments
[C14: from Middle Dutch splinter; see splint]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from M.Du. splinter, splenter "a splinter," related to splinte (see splint). The verb is from 1580s; figurative sense from c.1600. The adjective (as in splinter party) is first recorded 1935, from the noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He says the piece, splintered and missing a leg, was found in a cave not far
  from this village.
Families grew smaller or splintered apart, mothers left the home to work.
My own discipline has since splintered into a seemingly infinite variety of
  subdisciplines, each with its own research literature.
Yeah so everything is becoming more splintered in terms of the feeds.
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