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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Police forensic scientists protested at the Louvre in white smocks spattered in fake blood. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, 20 Jan. 2020 Upon inspection, tiny pieces of particulate matter spattered the slide. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Travis McMichael is shown with blood on his arms and shirt, with blood spatter also on his jeans and face. Pamela Kirkland, CNN, 9 Nov. 2021 The story follows Dexter Morgan, a forensic blood-spatter expert at the Miami Metro Police Department who moonlights as a serial killer. Dana Feldman, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 According to police, blood spatter was found in the home and in the trunk of Jones’ car. Tandra Smith |, al, 27 Sep. 2021 Investigators found blood spatter on a bedroom wall, according to the affidavit. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 21 Sep. 2021 In one of its spreads, a burst of light on muddy asphalt abuts a jumble of walls and fences, rain pounding a limousine, and a spatter of paint with a hank of rope. Leo Rubinfien, The New York Review of Books, 11 Feb. 2021 Police quickly ruled out foul play, and the death was ruled a suicide despite suspicious clues: there was little blood spatter and there were no fingerprints found on the gun. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, 4 Sep. 2021 Hall plays a blood-spatter expert by day and serial killer by night. Marianne Garvey, CNN, 26 July 2021 The first spooky spatter of notes—E, A, B-natural, C, C, A, and B-flat—gives an indication of the work’s sophisticated trickery. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near spatter



spatter cone

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Statistics for spatter

Cite this Entry

“Spatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for spatter



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

Nglish: Translation of spatter for Spanish Speakers


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