See more synonyms for spatter on
verb (used with object)
  1. to scatter or dash in small particles or drops: The dog spattered mud on everyone when he shook himself.
  2. to splash with something in small particles: to spatter the ground with water.
  3. to sprinkle or spot with something that soils or stains.
verb (used without object)
  1. to send out small particles or drops, as falling water: rain spattering on a tin roof.
  2. to strike a surface in or as in a shower, as bullets.
  1. the act or the sound of spattering: the spatter of rain on a roof.
  2. 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 formsspat·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·spat·tered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spatter

Contemporary Examples of spatter

Historical Examples of spatter

  • It was irregular at the edges, looking in fact like a spatter of silver.

  • Take your pen, old boy, and show us whether you can spatter the ink or not.

    Desk and Debit

    Oliver Optic

  • He knew only that Delaney had run, leaving his revolver and a spatter of blood behind him.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • Neill leaped back in a spatter of bullets that rained round him.

    A Texas Ranger

    William MacLeod Raine

  • His arid chuckle seemed to strike Hayden like the spatter of hail.

    The Silver Butterfly

    Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

British Dictionary definitions for spatter


  1. to scatter or splash (a substance, esp a liquid) or (of a substance) to splash (something) in scattered dropsto spatter mud on the car; mud spattered in her face
  2. (tr) to sprinkle, cover, or spot (with a liquid)
  3. (tr) to slander or defame
  4. (intr) to shower or rain downbullets spattered around them
  1. the sound of something spattering
  2. something spattered, such as a spot or splash
  3. the act or an instance of spattering

Word Origin for spatter

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

Word Origin and History for spatter

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