sliv·​er | \ ˈsli-vər How to pronounce sliver (audio) , sense 2 is usually ˈslī- \

Definition of sliver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a long slender piece cut or torn off : splinter
b : a small and narrow portion a sliver of land
c : particle, scrap not a sliver of evidence
2 : an untwisted strand or rope of textile fiber produced by a carding or combing machine and ready for drawing, roving, or spinning


sliv·​er | \ ˈsli-vər How to pronounce sliver (audio) \
slivered; slivering\ ˈsli-​və-​riŋ How to pronounce slivering (audio) , ˈsliv-​riŋ \

Definition of sliver (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become split into slivers

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Synonyms for sliver

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of sliver in a Sentence

Noun I got a sliver of wood stuck in my finger. Verb carefully slivered the rattan stems into strips for basketry
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These are the reasons real estate agents tout a compact, detached dwelling on a sliver of land as a condo or townhouse alternative. oregonlive, "Portland homes for sale on really small lots have low property taxes," 16 May 2020 The extreme drought area laps into a narrow sliver of southwestern Oregon. Los Angeles Times, "Spring rain and snow fell short of miraculous for most of California," 30 Apr. 2020 Whereas stocks are the ownership of a sliver of a bigger company, like IBM, debt or bonds actually owe you money. Megan Ditrolio, Marie Claire, "What Should I Be Doing With My Money During the COVID-19 Pandemic?," 14 Apr. 2020 At midday, a man walked outside a building, stood in a sliver of sunshine, stretched his arms up, touched his toes, and went back inside. Stephanie Mccrummen, Washington Post, "Shutting down the city that never sleeps," 21 Mar. 2020 Of those, only a sliver — 2.5 percent — experienced severe symptoms, and an even tinier proportion — 0.2 percent — became critically ill. NBC News, "'We simply do not understand why': Coronavirus is sparing children, puzzling experts," 3 Mar. 2020 Senate Republicans, and the President’s defense team, have so far relied on a sliver of ambiguity between the quid and the quo. The New Yorker, "Watch Live: Donald Trump’s Senate Impeachment Trial Enters a New Phase," 29 Jan. 2020 Rather than examining the shape of the bones, Woodward and her team peeked inside them, zooming in on slivers of femur and tibia bone less than a millimeter thick. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "T. rex teens looked wildly different than the adults we’re familiar with," 3 Jan. 2020 With every new set of characters—a pack of kids whose parents are all cancer survivors, an expert skateboarder, two friends discussing boogers as a metaphor for life itself—Jason Reynolds shines light on another sliver of the neighborhood. Rebecca Katzman, Time, "The 10 Best YA and Children's Books of 2019," 25 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This classic Portuguese soup delivers big flavor and plenty of nutrition thanks to a pound of slivered kale. Paul Stephen,, "Recipe: Quick Portuguese Caldo Verde (Sausage and Kale Soup)," 15 Apr. 2020 Toasted sliced, slivered, or chopped whole almonds can be used in place of the hazelnuts. Christopher Kimball,, "Recipes: Say farewell to summer with easy Italian grilled chicken and a bold dessert," 20 Aug. 2019 To finish the dish, it's garnished with house made roasted sirrachi peanuts for crunch, slivered scallions and sesame seeds. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Cauliflower power: 6 places with hot cauliflower dishes," 2 Oct. 2019 The sequined serpent that slivered up her Alexander McQueen gown shimmered. Vogue, "Artist Tali Lennox Celebrated the End of Her Show With a Dinner Evoking Weimar-Era Indulgence," 28 Oct. 2019 Kuchurgan sits not far from the blast site, just inside Transnistria, a wholly unrecognized quasi-state slivered between Moldova and Ukraine and marketed by its tourist board as the place where the USSR never ended. Wired, "The Shady Cryptocurrency Boom on the Post-Soviet Frontier," 29 Oct. 2019 Mixing his dough and slivering vegetables, Nyma uses beef or chicken as filling. M.a.c. Lynch,, "Love Story: After fleeing Tibet, this man built a new life Connecticut and met his wife," 29 Sep. 2019 Serve a main dish plant protein burger with a generous portion of green beans topped with toasted, slivered almonds. NBC News, "Can your diet save the planet?," 26 Aug. 2019 Peaches are fantastic grilled, added to garden salads, transformed into salsa, or slivered into slaw. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "8 Health Benefits of Peaches," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sliver.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sliver


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1605, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sliver


Middle English slivere, from sliven to slice off, from Old English -slīfan; akin to Old English -slǣfan to cut

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Time Traveler for sliver

Time Traveler

The first known use of sliver was in the 14th century

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Statistics for sliver

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sliver.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for sliver


How to pronounce sliver (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sliver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small, thin piece that has been cut, torn, or broken from something larger


How to pronounce sliver (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sliver (Entry 2 of 2)

somewhat formal : to cut or break (something) into small, thin pieces


sliv·​er | \ ˈsli-vər How to pronounce sliver (audio) \

Kids Definition of sliver

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a long slender piece of something cut or torn off : splinter I have a sliver of wood in my finger.
2 : a small amount a sliver of moon a sliver of doubt


slivered; slivering

Kids Definition of sliver (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut or form into long slender pieces

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More from Merriam-Webster on sliver

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sliver

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sliver

Spanish Central: Translation of sliver

Nglish: Translation of sliver for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sliver

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