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 splintering (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

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Other Words from splinter

Noun

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

Synonyms for splinter

Synonyms: Noun

chip, flake, sliver, spall, splint

Synonyms: Verb

slice, sliver

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everybody else went home covered in dust and splinters. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Coveralls and How to Buy Them," 19 Nov. 2018 But radiation will split them at random, causing organic materials — leather seats, rubber tires, paints, perhaps even the carbon-fiber body — to discolor, flake and splinter away. Rafi Letzter, Washington Post, "Space X sent a cute red Tesla Roadster into space. Here’s what’ll probably happen to it," 7 Mar. 2018 Hundreds wrote in to the Senate, sharing a range of stories about living with pain after the operation -- from not being able to walk, sit or drive to puncturing their partner during intercourse with a splinter that broke off the implant. Marian Liu, CNN, "Australia investigates implants that left some women with 'rotting pelvises'," 28 Mar. 2018 The same could well happen this time around as some turn back, splinter off on their own or decide to take their chances on asylum in Mexico — as 1,128 have done so far, according to the country’s Interior Department. Mark Stevenson, The Seattle Times, "Weary migrants still far reaching US border," 23 Oct. 2018 Likewise the trio of Will Irvine, Julian Moore-Cook and Daryl McCormack, a bickering band from the INLA who have come to punish Padraic for daring to contemplate splintering the splinter group further. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore': Theater Review," 5 July 2018 Pitches linger, bend, then splinter into skittish shards that break off and disappear. New York Times, "Review: ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ the Opera, Falls Short of Its Potential," 1 June 2018 Since the playground opened in 2016, two children have stepped on nails and some have gotten splinters, but there have been no broken bones, said Reilly Bergin Wilson, board chair of play:groundNYC, the nonprofit that runs The Yard. Elizabeth Chuck /, NBC News, "How much risk is good for kids? Parents make the case for more adventurous childhoods," 26 June 2018 After being chastised for skating on public art or public library steps or getting splinters from homemade plywood jumps, skaters have found solace in a place meant only for them. Amelia Nierenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Lynch Family Skatepark offers teenagers discipline, camaraderie, freedom," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As the opposition splintered, then-President Barack Obama was reluctant to commit to full-scale war or regime change. Angela Charlton, The Seattle Times, "Syria: Everyone else’s battleground, in both war and peace," 25 Sep. 2018 Libya, home to the largest oil reserves in Africa, is splintered among two rival governments and a complex mosaic of armed groups, and lacks a fully functioning state. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "Islamic State’s Deadly Return in Libya Imperils Oil Output," 18 Sep. 2018 The field of four Democratic challengers is splintered. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "The four most important races in Texas’s Tuesday primaries," 6 Mar. 2018 There, a handful of moms sit clustered on splintering wooden bleachers watching their daughters, ages 9 to 12, play softball. Kate Morgan, Woman's Day, "A New Jersey Softball Team Is Lifting Its City's Spirits," 21 Mar. 2019 The group, however, eventually splintered into smaller groups amid President Trump’s warning and the nation’s focus on the issue. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Border Patrol stops caravan of 128 illegal immigrants from entering US," 22 Aug. 2018 Could other theater chains begin to follow suit, splintering away from MoviePass and starting subscription services of their own? Yohana Desta, HWD, "Move Over, MoviePass: AMC Announces a Subscription Service of Its Own," 20 June 2018 There are some groups, like the Women’s March Alliance in New York, that have splintered off from the leaders of the Women’s March and are hosting their own marches (the Alliance’s will be in Columbus Circle this Saturday). Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Should You Attend the Women's March?," 16 Jan. 2019 The October elections are shaping up as the most unpredictable and splintered since the return of democracy in Brazil in the late 1980s. Shasta Darlington, New York Times, "Fed Up With Corruption, Fresh Faces Take On Brazil’s Political Old Guard," 2 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for splinter

Last Updated

3 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for splinter

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

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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 splintering (audio) \

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More from Merriam-Webster on splinter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with splinter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for splinter

Spanish Central: Translation of splinter

Nglish: Translation of splinter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of splinter for Arabic Speakers

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