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

Enter to the percussive beat of a cleaver before sitting to a slow-cooked, spice-rich Jaliscan broth bearing the occasional bone splinter, served with a stack of hot tortillas and compulsory lime, onion and cilantro. Hadley Tomicki, Los Angeles Times, "17 places you probably have to try to understand birria in L.A.," 31 July 2019 Wedges of hot red and aquamarine collide and clatter apart flinging off shards of yellow and splinters of black and white. Stephen Ellis, The New York Review of Books, "Willem de Kooning: Acrobat with a Paint Brush," 1 June 2019 Drug gangs and splinter groups have long fought for control. Washington Post, "Asylum seekers waiting in Nuevo Laredo fear lurking dangers," 19 July 2019 At the start of the protest, about 7 p.m., a splinter group of about 50 people broke off from the main group, crossing a chain-link gate and entering the ICE property. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Protest of planned federal immigration roundups draws thousands to Aurora ICE facility," 12 July 2019 Wood chips, dust, splinters, and dirt rained down on me. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Coveralls and How to Buy Them," 19 Nov. 2018 Elsewhere on the Eurasian continent, however, a group arose that would eventually move into Siberia, splinter, and cross Beringia into North America, the DNA analysis reveals. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Closest-known ancestor of today’s Native Americans found in Siberia," 5 June 2019 Several times Huxley tore off a piece of meat and put it into the outstretched hand of J. B. Once Hollis begged from J. B. and was rewarded with a small bloody splinter. National Geographic, "Jane Goodall’s original tale of chimpanzees still astonishes today," 17 Apr. 2019 The Bexar County Democratic Party has appeared to splinter. Dylan Mcguinness, ExpressNews.com, "Bexar County Democratic Party appears to splinter after continuing rift," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Though the original group has splintered, the offshoots continue to wreak havoc in Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, and the broader region. Kaj Larsen, National Review, "The U.S. Must Remain in Africa’s Fight against Boko Haram," 21 Aug. 2019 Tom Benning reports that Julián Castro's plan to decriminalize unauthorized border crossings has splintered an expansive Democratic presidential field, pitting the former San Antonio mayor, in particular, against fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke. Dallas News, "More secret tape fallout in Texas House, Beto O'Rourke's reboot, Dallas mayor creates crime task force," 20 Aug. 2019 The now-familiar cycle of rallies, police interventions, and clashes between the two sides has splintered the city. Yanan Wang, BostonGlobe.com, "Protesters, police face off in Hong Kong as rallies continue," 3 Aug. 2019 Japanese curbs on the export of vital chip- and display-making materials to South Korea — the latest manifestation of lingering tensions stretching back to colonization by Tokyo and World War II — threaten to further splinter the industry. Debby Wubloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Trump trade war is splitting tech manufacturers along U.S.-China lines," 15 Aug. 2019 Isn’t that the question on all the mom’s minds as all the marriages continue to splinter. Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Big Little Lies Season 2, Episode 4 Recap: The Door’s Hinged," 4 July 2019 The fighting this week is believed to involve a group that had tried to splinter off from the Sinaloa cartel operating in Agua Prieta. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Multiple deaths reported in second round of shootings this week near the Arizona border," 14 June 2019 As tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bag pellets rained down on the young protesters, the sit-in effort shifted west and splintered. Time, "'If All of Us Come Out, We Can Win.' Hong Kong Protesters Call for Even Bigger March," 13 June 2019 Shortly after 11 am Pacific time, the march splintered as groups of people attempted to cross the border en masse. Dara Lind, Vox, "How a march at the US-Mexico border descended into tear gas and chaos," 26 Nov. 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

6 Sep 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

Comments on splinter

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