: a thin wood or metal strip used in building construction
: a key that is fixed to one of two connected mechanical parts and fits into a keyway in the other
also : a keyway for such a key
: a function that is defined on an interval, is used to approximate a given function, and is composed of pieces of simple functions defined on subintervals and joined at their endpoints with a suitable degree of smoothness

Examples of spline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Damaged axle hub splines can result in a vehicle roll away when the vehicle is in park without the parking brake applied, or cause a loss of drive power. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 8 Jan. 2024 The rear axle hub bolt may fatigue and break, according to the notice, which can result in damage to the axle hub splines. Emily Deletter, The Courier-Journal, 3 Jan. 2024 In 1968 two professors founded the pioneering graphics hardware company Evans & Sutherland; by 1978, fundamental rendering and visualization techniques disclosed in doctoral dissertations included the Warnock algorithm, Gouraud shading, the Catmull-Rom spline, and the Blinn-Phong reflection model. IEEE Spectrum, 9 June 2023 Run the blade along the outside of the spline to cut the screen material away, being careful not to cut the spline or the screen on the inside of the spline. Kamron Sanders, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 June 2022 Align the drive splines inside the wheel with the drive cog and press the wheel into place. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 17 Mar. 2023 The splines should fit snugly into the kerfs but should also slide freely. Paul Steiner, Popular Mechanics, 24 Mar. 2023 Half-shafts are massive ball-spline units, necessary when an independent suspension with more than nine inches of travel is paired with three motors with the combined twist of 1200 pound-feet of torque. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, 4 Oct. 2021 Use a small screwdriver to pry the spline out at its end. Kamron Sanders, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 June 2022

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spline was in 1756

Dictionary Entries Near spline

Cite this Entry

“Spline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spline. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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