verb (used with or without object)

to splash and scatter upon impact: The paint splattered when I dropped the bucket.


an act or instance of splattering.
the quantity splattered: to wipe up a splatter of ketchup on the rug.


characterized by gory imagery: splatter films.

Origin of splatter

1775–85; blend of splash and spatter
Related formsun·splat·tered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for splatter

Contemporary Examples of splatter

Historical Examples of splatter

  • Shells from hostile batteries were beginning to splatter down just beyond.

  • Overhead, a splatter of rain pinged on the tin roof of the cabin.

    Dan Carter Cub Scout

    Mildred A. Wirt

  • There is a hole, and there is a splatter and a change of the line.

  • Only when alone under that splatter of stars did he feel the moment big with more than a mere release from textbooks.

    The Wrong Twin

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • A few of them, however—just a splatter—did fall on his fish, but it didn't matter as it was a salt fish anyway.

    Hints to Pilgrims

    Charles Stephen Brooks

British Dictionary definitions for splatter



to splash with small blobs; spatter


a splash of liquid, mud, etc
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 splatter

1784, but earlier in splatterdash (1772), perhaps a blend of spatter and splash.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper