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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 spattered
Historical Examples
  • And that he done it with an apron on to kape from gettin' burnt and spattered?

    The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys Gulielma Zollinger
  • Everybody knew it, because it was daubed and spattered with paint.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin
  • They spattered into the waters all around him, but wide of their mark.

    A Prisoner of Morro

    Upton Sinclair
  • Some of them spattered the ends of their noses with black chocolate.

    Rootabaga Stories Carl Sandburg
  • You do not wish to see me spattered over the beautiful isle?

    The Place of Honeymoons Harold MacGrath
  • They are black, brown, or yellow; but all spotted and spattered with red—with blood!

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • His sheets, his curtains, and even the walls, were spattered with red.

  • His suit of buff was torn and stained, and his great-boots were spattered with mud.

    To Have and To Hold Mary Johnston
  • He was wet and spattered to the waist, however, and had lost his cap.

  • That gentleman was suddenly aged, and his clothes were wet and spattered with mud.

    The Crisis, Complete Winston Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for spattered


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 spattered



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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