- 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 splintering
Instead, Egypt's current unrest is a sign of how much the nation is splintering.Deep Rifts Drive Egypt’s Anti-Morsi Protests
February 1, 2013
Splintering of parties could spell doom for the next government.Greece’s Election Supernova
April 26, 2012
The splintering of the old cartels has also made it possible for anyone with enough ambition to get to the top.Lingerie Drug Lord
February 25, 2010
A loud crack came out of her, followed by the tearing and splintering of wood.Falk
There was a sound of splintering glass and the acrid smell of smoke.Jane Journeys On
Ruth Comfort Mitchell
Then there was a splintering noise and a part of the wood broke away.The Doers
William John Hopkins
And at that instant there was a sound of splintering, breaking wood.The Motor Girls on Crystal Bay
About the road there sounded somewhere the splintering of stone and timbers.A Witch Shall Be Born
Robert E. Howard
- 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 splintering
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.