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 Lee testified the two some how dodged most of the blood spatter during the fight and that his tests discovered blood on a towel the prosecution argued the teens could have used to clean up. Edmund H. Mahony,, "Two former state prison inmates, whose murder convictions were reversed by the Supreme Court, file civil rights suits against police, Henry Lee," 2 Dec. 2020 There are what appear to be several small drops/spatter of something dark brown on the shoulder. oregonlive, "Armin Carl Hansen etching could fetch thousands: Today’s Collectibles," 1 Dec. 2020 Premiering in 2006, Dexter followed Morgan, a blood-spatter expert for the Miami PD who spends his nights hunting and murdering the criminals he's tasked with helping arrest. Derek Lawrence,, "Michael C. Hall is returning to Showtime for Dexter limited series," 14 Oct. 2020 Fitzharris gets physical in the segment, taking a small axe to a ballistic gel body and then analyzing the damage and blood spatter with Hook's help. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Famous strange demises get a second look in The Curious Life and Death of…," 1 Oct. 2020 Police found blood spatter and smears in the bathroom and entryway in Dibiah's apartment in a complex near West 10th Street and I-465. Vic Ryckaert, The Indianapolis Star, "Trial is set for father accused of killing 10-year-old Nakota Kelly," 10 Sep. 2020 Cox denied seeing Williams prior to his death, but authorities found blood spatter at the apartment, as well as bleach and bedding that matched the blanket in which Williams had been wrapped. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Man sentenced to 35 years in Arkansas killing," 22 Aug. 2020 And one of the upstairs bedrooms was painted in a multicolor spatter pattern. Richard Marini,, "Historic Monticello Park home near Woodlawn Lake has housed journalists, ministers and a future Nobel Prize winner," 6 Aug. 2020 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

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

Cite this Entry

“Spatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on spatter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spatter

Nglish: Translation of spatter for Spanish Speakers

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