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

intransitive verb

: to spurt forth in scattered drops
blood spattering everywhere

transitive verb

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


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: the act or process of spattering : the state of being spattered
: the noise of spattering
: a drop or splash spattered on something or a spot or stain due to spattering
: 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
Advertisement Blood was spattered on a wall and the bed, items were scattered everywhere and Nickens was dead, lying facedown on the floor, according to the prosecutor’s brief. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 23 July 2023 Much of both videos centered on talking about, or zooming in on, stains on the garage floor and spatter on a black SUV in the garage that appeared to be blood. Taylor Hartz, Hartford Courant, 12 Jan. 2024 Footage showed protesters igniting smoke devices in the street and spattering fake blood on the property. Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2023 His artworks often place people in cosmic settings, framed by rings of starlight conjured by spattering bleach on the black fabric. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2023 Los Angeles police have launched an investigation into a protest Thursday at the Brentwood home of the president of a pro-Israeli lobbying group, with footage on social media showing protesters igniting smoke devices in the street and spattering fake blood on the property. Matthew Ormseth, Melody Petersen, and Angie Orellana Hernandez Los Angeles Times (tns),, 26 Nov. 2023 Those who fail, by moving when they are supposed to be frozen, are eliminated faux-execution-style; tiny squibs explode under their shirts, spattering them with black ink. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 One little girl was heavily blood spattered and dazed. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 The city, interestingly, is now spattered with commemorative public art, including an impressionistic portrait of Mobutu, a.k.a. Michela Wrong, The Atlantic, 23 Oct. 2023
At Tesla’s Fremont factory, investigators also found welding spatter waste, waste paint mix cups, and wipes / debris contaminated with primer unlawfully chucked into the trash. Justine Calma, The Verge, 3 Feb. 2024 So, Steve Ducote asked the Jefferson Parish Crime Lab to examine the evidence and check for suspicious blood spatter on Dustin's clothing. David Begnaud, CBS News, 6 Jan. 2024 Casseroles and desserts can still bubble over, but greasy spatters in the oven are far less likely. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 Reports The next showed a close-up of the spatter, as well as an empty shelf. Lizzy Rosenberg, Peoplemag, 21 Oct. 2023 The forensic minutiae are duly intriguing: Blood spatters are closely analyzed, timetables meticulously reconstructed. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2023 This one happens to run on digital blood spatter, bootleg CGI and japes about genitalia, but the animus behind these films is nostalgia for the kind of pounding marquee movies of the 1980s and ‘90s, when the men were muscly and the misogyny was cool with everyone. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2023 This was all preceded by a small spatter cone of lava forming in the summit crater. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 27 July 2023 There were no indications of blood spatter or other signs of violence, the lieutenant said. Taylor Romine, CNN, 1 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spatter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1600, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of spatter was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near spatter

Cite this Entry

“Spatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
spat·​ter ˈspat-ər How to pronounce spatter (audio)
: to splash with drops or small bits of something wet
spatter the paper with paint
: to scatter by splashing
spattered mud all over my coat


2 of 2 noun
: the act or sound of spattering
: a drop or splash spattered on something : a spot or stain due to spattering

More from Merriam-Webster on spatter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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