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 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 His face was spattered with blood and the wires from the stun gun were still wrapped around his leg. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "DPS report reveals new details in final moments of slain Trooper Tyler Edenhofer," 17 July 2019 Blood-spattered on a stretcher, with Willie D and Scarface beside him, the album was an apotheosis for Geto Boys’ aesthetic — morbid, self-aware and provocative. August Brown,, "Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill dies: Morbid, provocative — an unlikely hip-hop legend," 10 June 2019 Among the most vivid photos is Ray Alvareztorres’s view of a police car spattered with red pigment in Charlottesville, Va., also the site of Miki Jourdan’s close-up of a girl holding a candle at a nighttime vigil. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: ‘Archiving Eden’ exhibition sprouts interest with macro photos," 5 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The arrest warrants say investigators uncovered bloodstains and blood spatter along with evidence of a cleanup at Jennifer Dulos' New Canaan home. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Police search Hartford trash plant with cadaver dogs in search for missing mom," 4 June 2019 Stites, court documents say, described the blood spatter on Camm's clothing to his boss over the phone. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Judge rules David Camm can sue for false arrest in 2000 triple murder case," 10 Sep. 2019 Blood spatter and smears indicate Chad crawled on the kitchen floor, moving to the other side of the center island. Michael Williams,, "Grant Amato trial: Crime scene investigators testify in case against Chuluota man accused of killing family," 12 July 2019 The detective testified that there was a pool of blood surrounding a laundry basket and said there was also blood spatter on the walls. Carol Robinson |, al, "Vestavia Hills police officer fatally shot by wife after fight over money, detective says," 29 July 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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Statistics for spatter

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for spatter

The first known use of spatter was in 1600

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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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