- to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow.
- to damage, as by breaking or crushing: ships shattered by storms.
- to impair or destroy (health, nerves, etc.): The incident shattered his composure.
- to weaken, destroy, or refute (ideas, opinions, etc.): He wanted to shatter her illusions.
- to be broken into fragments or become weak or insubstantial.
- Usually shatters. fragments made by shattering.
Origin of shatter
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for shatter
Shatter their skulls with blows from your ax and the butt of your musket.Fighting France
The crew of the Shatter had apparently forgotten that they could support their demand with force of arms.
Fortunately, no one could see us, for the Shatter had in the meantime made fast to our stern.
The following interesting dialogue, which was conducted in English, now took place between the captain of the Shatter and my mate.
We were too much under the observation of the various signalling stations to dismount the Shatter's guns and take them over.
- to break or be broken into many small pieces
- (tr) to impair or destroyhis nerves were shattered by the torture
- (tr) to dumbfound or thoroughly upsetshe was shattered by the news
- (tr) informal to cause to be tired out or exhausted
- an obsolete word for scatter
- (usually plural) obsolete, or dialect a fragment
Word Origin and History for shatter
early 14c., transitive, probably a variant of Middle English scateren (see scatter (v.)). Cf. Old Dutch schetteren Low German schateren. Formations such as scatter-brained had parallel forms in shatter-brained, etc. Intransitive sense from 1560s. Related: Shattered; shattering. Carlyle (1841) used shatterment. Shatters "fragments" is from 1630s.