- a small, thin, sharp piece of wood, bone, or the like, split or broken off from the main body.
- splinter group.
- to split or break into splinters.
- to break off (something) in splinters.
- to split or break (a larger group) into separate factions or independent groups.
- Obsolete. to secure or support by a splint or splints, as a broken limb.
- to be split or broken into splinters.
- to break off in splinters.
Origin of splinter
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for splinter
This faction of the opposition is itself fractured into dozens of splinter groups.Al Qaeda Makes a Play for the U.S. Allies the War Against ISIS Depends On
September 29, 2014
DS: I got a splinter of wood through my ear as some doors were exploding.Dan Stevens Blows Up ‘Downton’: From Chubby-Cheeked Aristo to Lean, Mean American Psycho
September 19, 2014
A tornado does not just topple trees, it tears off their branches and twists their trunks until they splinter.Oklahoma Tornado Devastation: What the Twister Left Behind
May 22, 2013
The second lesson is that progressive movements all too often splinter among themselves, rather than uniting around common values.Women Of The Wall Reaffirm Support For Sharansky Plan
May 7, 2013
Likewise, there have been reports of violence stemming from Southern splinter groups as well.Birth of a Nation
July 9, 2011
It turned out that a splinter of iron wire had penetrated the core.Heroes of the Telegraph
His body seemed to break and splinter, and he sprawled forward on the sand.The Man the Martians Made
Frank Belknap Long
Would the teeth of a crocodile not splinter under that word?
But Splinter added a few words of his own and they became quieter.The Web of the Golden Spider
Frederick Orin Bartlett
One day Falk came upon a man gnawing a splinter of pine wood.Falk
- a very small sharp piece of wood, glass, metal, etc, characteristically long and thin, broken off from a whole
- a metal fragment, from the container of a shell, bomb, etc, thrown out during an explosion
- to reduce or be reduced to sharp fragments; shatter
- to break or be broken off in small sharp fragments
Word Origin and History for splinter
late 14c., from Middle Dutch splinter, splenter "a splinter," related to splinte (see splint). The adjective (as in splinter party) is first recorded 1935, from the noun.
1580s, from splinter (n.). Figurative sense from c.1600. Related: Splintered; splintering.