[ shat-er ]
/ ˈʃæt ər /

verb (used with object)

to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow.
to damage, as by breaking or crushing: ships shattered by storms.
to impair or destroy (health, nerves, etc.): The incident shattered his composure.
to weaken, destroy, or refute (ideas, opinions, etc.): He wanted to shatter her illusions.

verb (used without object)

to be broken into fragments or become weak or insubstantial.


Usually shatters. fragments made by shattering.

Origin of shatter

1300–50; Middle English schateren < ?; cf. scatter

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See break. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shattering

British Dictionary definitions for shattering


/ (ˈʃætə) /


to break or be broken into many small pieces
(tr) to impair or destroyhis nerves were shattered by the torture
(tr) to dumbfound or thoroughly upsetshe was shattered by the news
(tr) informal to cause to be tired out or exhausted
an obsolete word for scatter


(usually plural) obsolete, or dialect a fragment

Derived Forms

shatterer, nounshattering, adjectiveshatteringly, adverb

Word Origin for shatter

C12: perhaps obscurely related to scatter
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