: a thin wood or metal strip used in building construction
: a key that is fixed to one of two connected mechanical parts and fits into a keyway in the other
also : a keyway for such a key
: a function that is defined on an interval, is used to approximate a given function, and is composed of pieces of simple functions defined on subintervals and joined at their endpoints with a suitable degree of smoothness

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Half-shafts are massive ball-spline units, necessary when an independent suspension with more than nine inches of travel is paired with three motors with the combined twist of 1200 pound-feet of torque. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, 4 Oct. 2021 Use a small screwdriver to pry the spline out at its end. Kamron Sanders, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 June 2022 The seven butcher block techniques shown here are: dowel pins, throughbolt, spline-joint, nail pins, glue-joint, direct-nailing, and a top made using teak parquet flooring. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 1 May 2021 Place the screen on a flat surface with the spline facing up. New York Times, 5 Dec. 2020 Tap the spline flush with the bottom of each corner. Richard Romanski, Popular Mechanics, 29 Aug. 2020 Just be sure the new spline is the same diameter as the old one. Neal Barrett, Popular Mechanics, 31 May 2020 The UX’s transmission includes a dedicated first-gear spline to improve torque delivery at initial acceleration, before the CVT-like action of the planetary gearset takes over. Dan Neil, WSJ, 20 June 2019 The crank is now direct-mount, which alleviates proprietary spider configurations, and a new free-hub technology eliminates splines so freewheeling is silent. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, 29 May 2018 See More

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spline was in 1756

Dictionary Entries Near spline

Cite this Entry

“Spline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spline. Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

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