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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Beginning overnight Saturday, meteorologists predict rain will spatter San Francisco, lash the Sierra and soak much of the Central Valley, accumulating up to one and a quarter inches over three days, with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2022 There was only one indoor rink in town, and it was reserved for birthday parties and other civil occasions, for people less likely to spatter blood on the ice. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 Dip a pastry brush or similar tool into the food coloring, then spatter onto the macaron shells to give them a bloody effect. Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Add garlic and thyme sprigs to skillet at 12 o’clock position (butter will spatter)., 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, 6 May 2020 Paint was also spattered on the central government’s emblem at the front entrance. The Economist, 20 July 2019 Frank Spencer's blood spattered against this frame and this door. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, 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, 15 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There was blood spatter on the walls and the body was nearly nude. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Aug. 2022 The blood spatter found could place Murdaugh in close contact with at least one of the victims when they were killed, the source said. Randi Kaye, CNN, 14 July 2022 The garage had plastic sheets covering all the windows, a table with blood spatter, and cleaning supplies laid out. CBS News, 23 Apr. 2022 Julie Ann Bonds died from a brutal attack that left deep cuts to her skull and a spatter of puncture wounds all over the left side of her chest. CBS News, 14 Mar. 2022 Often the spatter of drops did no more than leave dark spots on pavement. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 15 May 2022 Duane Deaver, who gave damning testimony regarding the blood spatter patterns at the crime scene, was found to have misled both the judge and the jury in Peterson's case. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 4 June 2022 Another important element of Michael's case focused on blood spatter found at the scene. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 May 2022 Exploring the numerous phenomena is made easy thanks to a 7-mile, drivable loop that meanders through mind-bending cone, spatter, and hoodoo formations, some of which solidified in mid-flight as far back as 15,000 years ago. Sunset Magazine, 16 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near spatter



spatter cone

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Statistics for spatter

Last Updated

17 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for spatter


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

More from Merriam-Webster on spatter

Nglish: Translation of spatter for Spanish Speakers


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