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 Keating stood with her teammates Saturday morning, mud-spattered and shivering after finishing the girls sectional race at Lake Park High School in northwest suburban Roselle. Madeline Buckley,, "CPS students race at cross-country sectionals after hard-fought legal battle: ‘It’s been a wash of excitement and apprehension’," 2 Nov. 2019 Derilus’ 21-year-old passenger, LaShanna Scott’s face and shirt were smeared with blood and spattered with glass fragments. Tonya Alanez,, "Nearly 6 years after cyclist was decapitated by 91 mph driver, police make arrest," 22 Nov. 2019 At one Louisiana party, an expectant father wedged a melon into an alligator's jaws; when the gator chomped down, the melon split open, spattering blue goo everywhere, to cheers from the crowd. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "A woman died from an explosion at a gender reveal party," 27 Oct. 2019 One to 2 feet of snow are possible in parts of the Dakotas through Friday morning, with foot-plus totals spattering the eastern slopes of the higher elevations from Wyoming and northwestern Nebraska up to Montana as well. Matthew Cappucci,, "Tumultuous weather pattern triggers historic snowstorm in Plains, Nor’easter and western windstorm," 14 Oct. 2019 The walls were spattered, from baseboard to ceiling, in blood and so much pooled on the floor that the police had to build a makeshift bridge to get to the body without tramping through it. Edmund H. Mahony,, "More than three decades later, troubling questions and contradictions remain about two murder convictions and the role of forensic scientist Henry Lee," 23 July 2019 In addition, an illegible word was written on the back of the statue, and blue paint was spattered around the base. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Charlottesville statue of Robert E. Lee vandalized with anti-Trump graffiti," 24 July 2019 In old photos, those dirtied, spattered, and knotted-up Chucks reflected the patina of famous, creative lives of iconoclasts. Kate Bowers, Fortune, "Rebooting Converse: Should the brand play hard to get?," 30 July 2019 The demonstrators spattered the country’s emblem with paint (see picture) and covered the walls with slogans. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s violent protests against Chinese rule," 25 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Blood pooled on the living room floor and spatters turned the white walls red, some reaching more than 12 feet high. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Kelsey Berreth murder case: Bloodstain expert testifies that witness’s description of blood at crime scene consistent with blunt force," 15 Nov. 2019 Scrub clean cooktops and the inside of ovens, toasters and toaster ovens, which are often covered with crumbs, grease and food spatters. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Rid of Cockroaches for Good," 13 Nov. 2019 That was a stark contrast to a night in July when protesters were able to march right up to the building and spatter black paint on a national emblem, infuriating officials in Beijing. The Economist, "Hong Kong does its best to spoil China’s big anniversary," 1 Oct. 2019 Amid its tangles of color and form are spatters, foreshadowing what’s to come. Murray Whyte,, "At the MFA, German artist Katharina Grosse contends with Jackson Pollock," 5 Sep. 2019 There also was blood spatter on the basement floor., "Murders of Michigan women still unsolved 50 years later — but cops had eye on 1 man," 10 Nov. 2019 Maureen Maher: … no blood spatter outside, no pieces of clothing, no other— no material that would lead you to one particular individual? CBS News, "The Hollywood Ripper: How "48 Hours" helped crack the case of convicted serial killer Michael Gargiulo," 14 Sep. 2019 The assistant, Robert Stites, was only qualified to take evidence photos but had analyzed blood spatter on Camm's clothing and told investigators Camm had been near his family members when they were shot. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Judge rules David Camm can sue for false arrest in 2000 triple murder case," 10 Sep. 2019 Two hours after the shooting, blood spatter remained on the sidewalk near the intersection of 68th Street and Normal, where yellow tape was strung across the latter street and around the parking lot of a four-story, brown brick residential building. Alice Yin,, "14-year-old shot, critically wounded inside Englewood residence," 2 Aug. 2019

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

30 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Spatter.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 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

Comments on spatter

What made you want to look up spatter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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