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[splahys] /splaɪs/
verb (used with object), spliced, splicing.
to join together or unite (two ropes or parts of a rope) by the interweaving of strands.
to unite (timbers, spars, or the like) by overlapping and binding their ends.
to unite (film, magnetic tape, or the like) by butting and cementing.
to join or unite.
Genetics. to join (segments of DNA or RNA) together.
Informal. to unite in marriage:
They'll be spliced in June.
a joining of two ropes or parts of a rope by splicing.
the union or junction made by splicing.
a joining or junction of two pieces of timber, spar, etc., by overlapping and fastening the ends.
a joining of film, electromagnetic tape, or the like.
splice the main brace, Nautical.
  1. to issue a ration of spirits, as grog, to all hands.
  2. to drink spirits.
Origin of splice
1515-25; < earlier Dutch splissen (now splitsen)
Related forms
spliceable, adjective
resplice, verb (used with object), respliced, resplicing.
undersplice, verb (used with object), underspliced, undersplicing.
unspliced, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for splicing
Historical Examples
  • So all that day the shepherd was splicing, and hammering, and gluing, and bandaging.

  • The fact was, his ship had been got ready for sea in two days; hence the splicing.

    In Eastern Seas J. J. Smith
  • All over the ship, men were hauling, splicing, and stowing cargo.

  • For the next hour he worked at his pair of sheets, slicing, twisting, and splicing.

    Sophy of Kravonia Anthony Hope
  • Shows the lap joint used for splicing two pieces lengthwise.

    Carpentry and Woodwork

    Edwin W. Foster
  • One of Booth's remarks after the splicing was finished is full of suggestion.

    Arrows of Freethought George W. Foote
  • I suppose,” said I, “by your talking of splicing the mainbrace that you are a sailor.

    Wild Wales George Borrow
  • After some wrangling, I got my hands freed, and set about splicing the joint.

    The Yeoman Adventurer George W. Gough
  • Marston, who sat on the yacht's coaming, splicing a rope, trusted Wyndham far.

    Wyndham's Pal Harold Bindloss
  • Already his crew were plugging the shot-holes, knotting and splicing and mending.

British Dictionary definitions for splicing


verb (transitive)
to join (two ropes) by intertwining the strands
to join up the trimmed ends of (two pieces of wire, film, magnetic tape, etc) with solder or an adhesive material
to join (timbers) by overlapping and binding or bolting the ends together
(passive) (informal) to enter into marriage: the couple got spliced last Saturday
(nautical history) splice the mainbrace, to issue and partake of an extra allocation of alcoholic spirits
a join made by splicing
the place where such a join occurs
the wedge-shaped end of a cricket-bat handle or similar instrument that fits into the blade
Derived Forms
splicer, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably from Middle Dutch splissen; related to German spleissen, Swedish splitsa; see split
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 splicing



1520s, originally a sailors' word, from Middle Dutch splissen "to splice," ultimately from PIE *(s)plei- "to split, splice" (see flint). The Dutch word was borrowed in French as épisser. Used of motion picture film from 1912; of DNA from 1975. Related: Spliced; splicing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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splicing in Medicine

splicing splic·ing (splī'sĭng)

  1. Gene-splicing.

  2. The removal of introns and the joining of exons from mRNA precursors. Also called RNA splicing.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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splicing in Science
To join together genes or gene fragments or insert them into a cell or other structure, such as a virus, by means of enzymes. In genetic engineering, scientists splice together genetic material to produce new genes or to alter a genetic structure. In messenger RNA, the introns are removed, and exons are spliced together to yield the final messenger RNA that is translated. See also exon, intron.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for splicing



To marry • Most often in the passive: crying to be spliced (1751+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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