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[spat-er] /ˈspæt ər/
verb (used with object)
to scatter or dash in small particles or drops:
The dog spattered mud on everyone when he shook himself.
to splash with something in small particles:
to spatter the ground with water.
to sprinkle or spot with something that soils or stains.
verb (used without object)
to send out small particles or drops, as falling water:
rain spattering on a tin roof.
to strike a surface in or as in a shower, as bullets.
the act or the sound of spattering:
the spatter of rain on a roof.
a splash or spot of something spattered.
Origin of spatter
1575-85; perhaps < Dutch spatt(en) to splash + -er6; compare Dutch spatterig literally, spattery
Related forms
spatteringly, adverb
unspattered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spatter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was irregular at the edges, looking in fact like a spatter of silver.

  • Take your pen, old boy, and show us whether you can spatter the ink or not.

    Desk and Debit Oliver Optic
  • He knew only that Delaney had run, leaving his revolver and a spatter of blood behind him.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • Neill leaped back in a spatter of bullets that rained round him.

    A Texas Ranger William MacLeod Raine
  • His arid chuckle seemed to strike Hayden like the spatter of hail.

    The Silver Butterfly Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • On the walls of the houses we began to see the spatter of shrapnel.

  • At prisent they seem to be in no hurry to spatter us with their word-jelly.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • Among these was Mr. spatter, who introduced him to Mr. Varnish.

    Woman's Work in English Fiction Clara Helen Whitmore
  • The spatter of skirmish firing was added to the thunder of the guns on the hill.

    The Little Regiment Stephen Crane
British Dictionary definitions for spatter


to scatter or splash (a substance, esp a liquid) or (of a substance) to splash (something) in scattered drops: to spatter mud on the car, mud spattered in her face
(transitive) to sprinkle, cover, or spot (with a liquid)
(transitive) to slander or defame
(intransitive) to shower or rain down: bullets spattered around them
the sound of something spattering
something spattered, such as a spot or splash
the act or an instance of spattering
Word Origin
C16: of imitative origin; related to Low German, Dutch spatten to spout, Frisian spatteren to splash
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spatter

1570s (implied in spattering), possibly a frequentative verb from the stem of Dutch or Low German spatten "to spout, burst," of imitative origin. Related: Spattered.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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