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[splin-ter] /ˈsplɪn tər/
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.
Origin of splinter
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; cf. splint
Related forms
splinterless, adjective
splintery, adjective
unsplintered, adjective
1. sliver. 8. separate, part, split. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for splintered
  • 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.
  • The oil firms entered a region splintered by ethnic rivalries.
  • Pieces of splintered metal in the hydraulic fluid soon cause the back-up motor to fail.
  • Laughter reverberates from behind a splintered wooden door.
  • After banging away for a few minutes, he finally yanks the stud off the wall in a flurry of sawdust and splintered wood.
  • But then, this spring, the oft-splintered community seemed reinvigorated.
  • Many houses stood vacant-peeling and splintered, with shattered windows.
British Dictionary definitions for splintered


a very small sharp piece of wood, glass, metal, etc, characteristically long and thin, broken off from a whole
a metal fragment, from the container of a shell, bomb, etc, thrown out during an explosion
to reduce or be reduced to sharp fragments; shatter
to break or be broken off in small sharp fragments
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Dutch splinter; see splint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for splintered



late 14c., from Middle Dutch splinter, splenter "a splinter," related to splinte (see splint). The adjective (as in splinter party) is first recorded 1935, from the noun.


1580s, from splinter (n.). Figurative sense from c.1600. Related: Splintered; splintering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for splintered

splice the main brace

verb phrase

To have a drink of liquor (1850+ Nautical)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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