1. a thin piece of wood or other rigid material used to immobilize a fractured or dislocated bone, or to maintain any part of the body in a fixed position.
  2. one of a number of thin strips of wood woven together to make a chair seat, basket, etc.
  3. Veterinary Medicine. an exostosis or bony enlargement of a splint bone of a horse or a related animal.
  4. Armor.
    1. any of a number of narrow plates or lames joined with rivets or a backing to form a piece of armor.
    2. a partial vambrace protecting only the outer part of the arm.
  5. British Dialect. a splinter of wood or stone.
verb (used with object)
  1. to secure, hold in position, or support by means of a splint or splints, as a fractured bone.
  2. to support as if with splints.

Origin of splint

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German splinte; cf. splinter
Related formssplint·like, adjectiveun·splint·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for splinting

Historical Examples of splinting

British Dictionary definitions for splinting


  1. a rigid support for restricting movement of an injured part, esp a broken bone
  2. a thin sliver of wood, esp one that is used to light cigars, a fire, etc
  3. a thin strip of wood woven with others to form a chair seat, basket, etc
  4. vet science inflammation of the small metatarsal or metacarpal bones along the side of the cannon bone of a horse
  5. one of the overlapping metal plates used in armour after about 1330
  6. another word for splinter
  1. to apply a splint to (a broken arm, etc)
Derived Formssplintlike, adjective

Word Origin for splint

C13: from Middle Low German splinte; related to Middle Dutch splinte splint, Old High German spaltan to 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 splinting



c.1300, "plate of armor," probably from Middle Low German splinte, splente "thin piece of iron," related to Middle Dutch splinte "splint," probably ultimately from PIE *(s)plei- "to split, splice" (see flint). Cognate with Danish splint "splinter," Swedish splint "wooden peg, wedge." Meaning "slender flexible slip of wood" is recorded from early 14c.; specific surgical sense is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

splinting in Medicine


  1. A rigid device used to prevent motion of a joint or of the ends of a fractured bone.
  2. A dental appliance put on the teeth to protect them from grinding or from moving out of place.
  1. To support or restrict with a splint.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.