verb (used with object), spliced, splic·ing.



    splice the main brace, Nautical.
    1. to issue a ration of spirits, as grog, to all hands.
    2. to drink spirits.

Origin of splice

1515–25; < earlier Dutch splissen (now splitsen)
Related formssplice·a·ble, adjectivere·splice, verb (used with object), re·spliced, re·splic·ing.un·der·splice, verb (used with object), un·der·spliced, un·der·splic·ing.un·spliced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for splice

Historical Examples of splice

  • He then ordered the purser's steward to splice the main-brace.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • His last name had a splice in the middle of it—'twas Catesby-Stuart.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • But he could neither hew spars, nor paint, nor splice ropes.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • There 's scarce a snake of any size hasn't an emerald or splice of gold in him.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • Why didn't you splice and bring her along in the first place?

    Pocket Island

    Charles Clark Munn

British Dictionary definitions for splice


verb (tr)

to join (two ropes) by intertwining the strands
to join up the trimmed ends of (two pieces of wire, film, magnetic tape, etc) with solder or an adhesive material
to join (timbers) by overlapping and binding or bolting the ends together
(passive) informal to enter into marriagethe couple got spliced last Saturday
splice the mainbrace nautical history to issue and partake of an extra allocation of alcoholic spirits


a join made by splicing
the place where such a join occurs
the wedge-shaped end of a cricket-bat handle or similar instrument that fits into the blade
Derived Formssplicer, noun

Word Origin for splice

C16: probably from Middle Dutch splissen; related to German spleissen, Swedish splitsa; see split
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 splice

1520s, originally a sailors' word, from Middle Dutch splissen "to splice," ultimately from PIE *(s)plei- "to split, splice" (see flint). The Dutch word was borrowed in French as épisser. Used of motion picture film from 1912; of DNA from 1975. Related: Spliced; splicing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

splice in Science



To join together genes or gene fragments or insert them into a cell or other structure, such as a virus, by means of enzymes. In genetic engineering, scientists splice together genetic material to produce new genes or to alter a genetic structure. In messenger RNA, the introns are removed, and exons are spliced together to yield the final messenger RNA that is translated. See also exon intron.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.