spat·​ter | \ ˈspa-tər How to pronounce spatter (audio) \
spattered; spattering; spatters

Definition of spatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to spurt forth in scattered drops blood spattering everywhere

transitive verb

1 : to splash with or as if with a liquid also : to soil in this way his coat was spattered with mud
2 : to scatter by or as if by splashing spatter water
3 : to cover with or as if with splashes or spots
4 : to cast aspersions on : defame spattered my reputation



Definition of spatter (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act or process of spattering : the state of being spattered
b : the noise of spattering
2a : a drop or splash spattered on something or a spot or stain due to spattering
b : a small amount or number : sprinkle a spatter of applause

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Examples of spatter in a Sentence

Verb The dog jumped in the pool and spattered us with water. His clothes were spattered with paint. When you cook bacon, the grease spatters everywhere. He showed me how to use the paintbrush so the paint wouldn't spatter. Noun There were grease spatters all over the wall. The floor was covered with spatters of paint. There was a lot of paint spatter on the floor.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Add garlic and thyme sprigs to skillet at 12 o’clock position (butter will spatter)., "Recipe: Butter-Basted Fish Fillets with Garlic and Thyme," 2 July 2020 There’s a classic scene where her boardinghouse girlfriends, in preparation for the big night, teach her to slurp spaghetti without spattering the sauce. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "Home theater: From ‘Brooklyn’ to ‘Little Women,’ settle in with Saoirse Ronan," 6 May 2020 Paint was also spattered on the central government’s emblem at the front entrance. The Economist, "Protesters in Hong Kong incur the Communist Party’s wrath," 20 July 2019 Frank Spencer's blood spattered against this frame and this door. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Murder victim's friends say PA woman made good on her vow to kill," 16 Nov. 2019 Taking care to avoid being spattered if the caramel bubbles over, add ¼ cup of water to stop the cooking. CBS News, "The Dish: Acclaimed pastry chef Claudia Fleming shares her favorite sweet and savory recipes," 15 Feb. 2020 Police forensic scientists protested at the Louvre in white smocks spattered in fake blood. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "French Transport Strike Fizzles, in Boost for Macron," 20 Jan. 2020 Upon inspection, tiny pieces of particulate matter spattered the slide. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "If You've Ever Wanted a Smartphone Microscope, Now's Your Chance," 22 Nov. 2019 Yes, that means your toothbrush is being spattered with fecal matter. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The germiest place in your home and the best way to combat those microbes," 7 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bronzed pieces resembling paint spatters decorate the wall behind the bar; a linen mural occupies the opposite wall, above the blue banquette. Phil Vettel,, "Review: Find Chicago’s best sushi experience at Mako, B.K. Park’s omakase restaurant," 5 Dec. 2019 Don’t spray water onto flare-ups; you could get burned by hot, greasy spatters. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Became a Charcoal Grill Master," 2 May 2020 And that's why the blood spatter was so important in this case. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Was a Florida man's violent confrontation with his wife prompted by his daughter's high-end wedding?," 4 Apr. 2020 If Lizzie was the killer, wouldn't she be covered in blood spatter? Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Menstruation or murder: Did a suspect hide blood evidence in plain sight?," 26 Mar. 2020 More problematically, director Abrahams leans so heavily into the gory violence (there's enough blood spatter to fuel a dozen horror films) that the proceedings take on an acrid aftertaste. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Clover': Film Review," 11 Mar. 2020 Investigators found blood in the back bedroom of the apartment and said the pattern of the spatter indicated an assault had occurred there, charging papers said. Lynh Bui, Washington Post, "Md. man accused of killing woman took photos and video of her after she was injured, police said," 30 July 2019 So what if most mushes fell victim to the tongue-thrust reflex or ended up repurposed as art supplies, my walls decorated with beet-purple spatter and shellacked with heirloom bean? Washington Post, "Perspective | As a cookbook writer, I just knew my children would be good eaters. Then they were born.," 24 Jan. 2020 The cover art features blood spatter and a bearded Eminem holding both a hatchet and a gun to his head, the latter in apparent homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 album of the same name, Pitchfork noted. Time, "Eminem Drops Surprise Album and Advocates for Gun Control in New Music Video," 17 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spatter.' 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 spatter


1600, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spatter


akin to Frisian spatterje to spatter, Middle Dutch bespatten to splash

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Time Traveler for spatter

Time Traveler

The first known use of spatter was in 1600

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Statistics for spatter

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for spatter


How to pronounce spatter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause drops of a liquid to be thrown forcefully in different directions



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

: a mark made when something wet hits a surface


spat·​ter | \ ˈspa-tər How to pronounce spatter (audio) \
spattered; spattering

Kids Definition of spatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to splash with drops or small bits of something wet Don't spatter the floor with paint.
2 : to scatter by splashing A passing car spattered mud on my clothes.



Kids Definition of spatter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or sound of something splashing in drops the spatter of rain on a roof
2 : a drop or splash spattered on something : a spot or stain due to spattering a grease spatter

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More from Merriam-Webster on spatter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spatter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spatter

Spanish Central: Translation of spatter

Nglish: Translation of spatter for Spanish Speakers

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