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 spattered

Historical Examples of spattered

  • And that he done it with an apron on to kape from gettin' burnt and spattered?

  • Everybody knew it, because it was daubed and spattered with paint.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin

  • They spattered into the waters all around him, but wide of their mark.

    A Prisoner of Morro

    Upton Sinclair

  • Some of them spattered the ends of their noses with black chocolate.

    Rootabaga Stories

    Carl Sandburg

  • You do not wish to see me spattered over the beautiful isle?

British Dictionary definitions for spattered


  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 spattered



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