1 of 2


splin·​ter ˈsplin-tər How to pronounce splinter (audio)
: a thin piece split or broken off lengthwise : sliver
: a small needlelike particle
: a group or faction broken away from a parent body
splinter adjective
splintery adjective


2 of 2


splintered; splintering ˈsplin-tə-riŋ How to pronounce splinter (audio)

transitive verb

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
The Rocklin Stand Up Weed Puller Tool is made from 100% alloy steel, which unlike similar weeding tools crafted with wood and plastic, won’t crack, splinter, or fall apart over time. Alicia Geigel, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 July 2024 While the Blacks mourn, the Greens splinter into factions as the implications of what Aemond has unwittingly done sink in. Judy Berman, TIME, 16 June 2024
Christians in Israel, Palestinian territory splintered by war pray for peace …Read more LOCKED UP: Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández sentenced to 45 years in US prison …Read more Subscribe now to get Fox News Politics newsletter in your inbox. Fox News Staff, Fox News, 27 June 2024 Dinosaurs had been resurrected in Jurassic Park (1993), and one year after Twister, a massive ocean liner would splinter into the sea in Titanic. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 14 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for splinter 

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near splinter

Cite this Entry

“Splinter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/splinter. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
splin·​ter ˈsplint-ər How to pronounce splinter (audio)
: a thin piece split or torn off lengthwise : sliver
splinter adjective


2 of 2 verb
splintered; splintering ˈsplint-ə-riŋ How to pronounce splinter (audio)
: to divide or break into splinters

Medical Definition


splin·​ter ˈsplint-ər How to pronounce splinter (audio)
: 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
splinter transitive verb
splintered; splintering ˈsplint-ə-riŋ, ˈsplin-triŋ How to pronounce splinter (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on splinter

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