[ splin-ter ]
/ ˈsplɪn tər /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: splinter / splintered / splintering / splintery on Thesaurus.com


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.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of splinter

1350–1400; Middle English <Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; cf. splint
splin·ter·less, adjectivesplin·ter·y, adjectiveun·splin·tered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for splinter

/ (ˈsplɪntə) /


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


to reduce or be reduced to sharp fragments; shatter
to break or be broken off in small sharp fragments
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
What's This Word?