splinter

[splin-ter]

noun

a small, thin, sharp piece of wood, bone, or the like, split or broken off from the main body.

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to be split or broken into splinters.
to break off in splinters.

Origin of splinter

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; cf. splint
Related formssplin·ter·less, adjectivesplin·ter·y, adjectiveun·splin·tered, adjective

Synonyms for splinter

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British Dictionary definitions for splinter

splinter

noun

a very small sharp piece of wood, glass, metal, etc, characteristically long and thin, broken off from a whole
a metal fragment, from the container of a shell, bomb, etc, thrown out during an explosion

verb

to reduce or be reduced to sharp fragments; shatter
to break or be broken off in small sharp fragments

Word Origin for splinter

C14: from Middle Dutch splinter; see splint
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 splinter
n.

late 14c., from Middle Dutch splinter, splenter "a splinter," related to splinte (see splint). The adjective (as in splinter party) is first recorded 1935, from the noun.

v.

1580s, from splinter (n.). Figurative sense from c.1600. Related: Splintered; splintering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper