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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spattered
Historical Examples
  • The left arm of your jacket is spattered with mud in no less than seven places.

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

    Rootabaga Stories Carl Sandburg
  • His helmet was spattered inside with the blood that trickled from his ears, owing to the enormous pressure of the sea.

    Caleb West, Master Diver F. Hopkinson Smith
  • They are black, brown, or yellow; but all spotted and spattered with red—with blood!

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • On Mr. Jacobuss verandah lay a spattered circle of shining grains of rice.

    Short Sixes H. C. Bunner
  • Everybody knew it, because it was daubed and spattered with paint.

    Winning His Way Charles Carleton Coffin
  • His shirt, too, and his trim-fitting trousers were dirty and spattered with gore.

    Bat Wing Bowles Dane Coolidge
  • His sheets, his curtains, and even the walls, were spattered with red.

  • Ross sheltered his torch with his body as spray, driven inward from the sea, spattered his shoulders and his back.

    The Time Traders Andre Norton
  • His suit of buff was torn and stained, and his great-boots were spattered with mud.

    To Have and To Hold Mary Johnston
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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