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spat·​ter ˈspa-tər How to pronounce spatter (audio)
spattered; spattering; spatters

intransitive verb

: to spurt forth in scattered drops
blood spattering everywhere

transitive verb

: to splash with or as if with a liquid
also : to soil in this way
his coat was spattered with mud
: to scatter by or as if by splashing
spatter water
: to cover with or as if with splashes or spots
: to cast aspersions on : defame
spattered my reputation


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: the act or process of spattering : the state of being spattered
: the noise of spattering
: a drop or splash spattered on something or a spot or stain due to spattering
: a small amount or number : sprinkle
a spatter of applause

Examples of spatter in a Sentence

Verb The dog jumped in the pool and spattered us with water. His clothes were spattered with paint. When you cook bacon, the grease spatters everywhere. He showed me how to use the paintbrush so the paint wouldn't spatter. Noun There were grease spatters all over the wall. The floor was covered with spatters of paint. There was a lot of paint spatter on the floor. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
One little girl was heavily blood spattered and dazed. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 The city, interestingly, is now spattered with commemorative public art, including an impressionistic portrait of Mobutu, a.k.a. Michela Wrong, The Atlantic, 23 Oct. 2023 There were drawings scrawled on the wall, a desk spattered in paint. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2023 About a decade ago, China had a rambunctious feminist movement that staged protests like occupying a men’s restroom to demand more toilets for women, or marching in wedding dresses spattered with fake blood to draw attention to domestic violence. Kanis Leung, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Oct. 2023 In the bottom map of the trio above, the green spattered across the central US indicates up to a 30 percent rise in precipitation between the two time frames. WIRED, 20 Sep. 2023 He was dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and tennis shoes spattered with white paint. Ralph Chapoco, al, 9 Aug. 2023 Her apartment was in disarray and blood was spattered on her bed and a wall. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 25 July 2023 The lunch counter was spattered and smeared, a Covid petri dish. Scott Johnson, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 July 2023
Reports The next showed a close-up of the spatter, as well as an empty shelf. Lizzy Rosenberg, Peoplemag, 21 Oct. 2023 The forensic minutiae are duly intriguing: Blood spatters are closely analyzed, timetables meticulously reconstructed. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2023 This one happens to run on digital blood spatter, bootleg CGI and japes about genitalia, but the animus behind these films is nostalgia for the kind of pounding marquee movies of the 1980s and ‘90s, when the men were muscly and the misogyny was cool with everyone. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2023 This was all preceded by a small spatter cone of lava forming in the summit crater. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 27 July 2023 There were no indications of blood spatter or other signs of violence, the lieutenant said. Taylor Romine, CNN, 1 Aug. 2023 Investigators also allegedly found a 9mm handgun and cleaning supplies containing blood spatter, the report states. Nicole Acosta, Peoplemag, 4 Aug. 2023 The defense calls a crime scene analyst who, based on blood spatter, position of shots fired, and the fact that two different guns were used, says there was more than one shooter. CBS News, 4 Mar. 2023 There was a bloody pillow and blood spatter down the hallway, Houston said. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, 3 June 2023 See More

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

Word History



akin to Frisian spatterje to spatter, Middle Dutch bespatten to splash

First Known Use


1600, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of spatter was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near spatter

Cite this Entry

“Spatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
spat·​ter ˈspat-ər How to pronounce spatter (audio)
: to splash with drops or small bits of something wet
spatter the paper with paint
: to scatter by splashing
spattered mud all over my coat


2 of 2 noun
: the act or sound of spattering
: a drop or splash spattered on something : a spot or stain due to spattering

More from Merriam-Webster on spatter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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