splinter

noun
splin·​ter | \ ˈsplin-tər How to pronounce splinter (audio) \

Definition of splinter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a thin piece split or broken off lengthwise : sliver
b : a small needlelike particle
2 : a group or faction broken away from a parent body

splinter

verb
splintered; splintering\ ˈsplin-​tə-​riŋ How to pronounce splinter (audio) , -​triŋ \

Definition of splinter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to split or rend into long thin pieces : shiver
2 : to split into fragments, parts, or factions

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from splinter

Noun

splinter adjective
splintery \ ˈsplin-​tə-​rē How to pronounce splinter (audio) , -​trē \ adjective

Synonyms for splinter

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of splinter in a Sentence

Noun I got a splinter in my finger. There were splinters of glass everywhere. Verb The board splintered under his weight. The impact of the crash splintered the glass. groups that have splintered off to form new political movements a political party that has been splintered by disagreements
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It was run by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) until a Nazi splinter group called HYDRA infiltrated their ranks, and SHIELD had to be disbanded. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "All the Marvel Clues You Missed in WandaVision's First Two Episodes," 15 Jan. 2021 Some call for independence, others focus on universal suffrage, splinter groups argue for Hong Kong nativism, and different factions have varying levels of tolerance for violence. James Griffiths, CNN, "The exiles and the inmates: The heart-wrenching hand dealt to Hong Kong's democracy activists," 17 Dec. 2020 Disgorged from a hulking, barge-like mothership, a thin, prismatic shadow glides silently out onto the shining water like a splinter of obsidian. Abe Dane, Popular Mechanics, "Remembering the Sea Shadow, America's 'Invisible Warship'," 3 Dec. 2020 Get the 23-piece official tournament version of the game, made with splinter-resistant poplar and manufactured in the St. Louis Park garage of Jason Larson, owner of JP’s Backyard Games. Nicole Hvidsten, Star Tribune, "Essential Minnesota gift guide: 61 perfect picks while we're all home for the holidays," 27 Nov. 2020 On larger chips and those that already have a rust colony growing, use the splinter tweezers or a fine dental pick to flake off any loose paint. Paul Wright, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Car Paint Chips," 13 Nov. 2020 The 60-year-old woman was hit by a splinter while visiting relatives near the de-facto border, said civil administrator Rahul Yadav. Washington Post, "Woman killed as India, Pakistan trade gunfire in Kashmir," 8 July 2020 Around 2005, Carr saw news reports that members of Westboro Baptist Church, a Christian splinter group in Topeka, were demonstrating at military funerals. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, "The Changing Meaning of the American Flag Under Trump," 14 Oct. 2020 The splinter camo leggings allow for an effortless transition into the autumnal season for Diamond’s fitness goals, while being wildly soft. Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, Vogue, "The Best Fitness Finds from Amazon Prime Day To Spruce Up Your Workout Routine," 14 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sometimes the aliases splinter off to form side projects. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Obsessive Beat-Making of Madlib," 18 Jan. 2021 Several lawmakers surprised their party leaders and voted against the deadline extension, illustrating how factions have begun to splinter in recent weeks and making the outcome of elections difficult to predict. Washington Post, "Israeli government on the verge of collapse after lawmakers fail to reach budget compromise," 22 Dec. 2020 But the enduring anonymity of testing labs has begun to splinter some spirits. New York Times, "‘Nobody Sees Us’: Testing-Lab Workers Strain Under Demand," 3 Dec. 2020 But Parler’s rise highlights how the polarized national debate could even further splinter the American Internet, in the same way that news sources and digital social circles have split into parallel partisan realities. Washington Post, "Conservatives grumbling about censorship say they’re flocking to Parler. They told us so on Twitter.," 23 Nov. 2020 The frustration was real Sunday, but this isn’t a team ready to splinter. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "The Cleveland Browns know how to lose, which is why they’ll avoid a landslide," 19 Oct. 2020 Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart clashed, and these are the kinds of incidents that can splinter relationships. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Without the Splash Brothers, NBA’s backcourt pantheon growing," 26 Sep. 2020 Trump’s admirers in Washington, the move against Chinese tech companies is an act of reciprocity, an acknowledgment that China was the first to splinter the Internet into separate domains divided by a digital iron curtain. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "The TikTok Fiasco Reflects the Bankruptcy of Trump’s Foreign Policy," 25 Sep. 2020 Both would splinter in days and be a memory in a month. Barbara Amiel, Town & Country, "Lady Black's Revenge: An Explosive New Memoir Reveals the Fallout of a High Society Scandal," 20 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'splinter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of splinter

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for splinter

Noun

Middle English, from Middle Dutch; akin to Middle Low German splinte splint

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about splinter

Time Traveler for splinter

Time Traveler

The first known use of splinter was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for splinter

Last Updated

27 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Splinter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/splinter. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for splinter

splinter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of splinter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thin, sharp piece of something (such as wood, glass, etc.) that has broken off a larger piece

splinter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of splinter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to break (something) into small pieces or splinters
: to divide or split a group of people into smaller groups

splinter

noun
splin·​ter | \ ˈsplin-tər How to pronounce splinter (audio) \

Kids Definition of splinter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thin piece split or torn off lengthwise : sliver

splinter

verb
splintered; splintering

Kids Definition of splinter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to break into slivers Peter and Judy covered their ears as sounds of splintering wood and breaking china filled the house.— Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji

splinter

noun
splin·​ter | \ ˈsplint-ər How to pronounce splinter (audio) \

Medical Definition of splinter

: a thin piece (as of wood) split or broken off lengthwise especially : such a piece embedded in the skin used tweezers to remove a splinter

Other Words from splinter

splinter transitive verb splintered; splintering\ ˈsplint-​ə-​riŋ, ˈsplin-​triŋ How to pronounce splinter (audio) \

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on splinter

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!