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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English splinter, from Middle Dutch splinter.


splinter (plural splinters)

  1. A long, sharp fragment of material, often wood.
  2. A group that formed by splitting off from a larger membership.

Etymology 2[edit]

From the noun splinter.


splinter (third-person singular simple present splinters, present participle splintering, simple past and past participle splintered)

  1. (intransitive) To come apart into long sharp fragments.
    The tall tree splintered during the storm.
  2. (transitive) To cause to break apart into long sharp fragments.
    His third kick splintered the door.
    • Prescott
      After splintering their lances, they wheeled about, and [] abandoned the field to the enemy.
  3. (figuratively, of a group) To break, or cause to break, into factions.
    The government splintered when the coalition members could not agree.
    The unpopular new policies splintered the company.
  4. (transitive) To fasten or confine with splinters, or splints, as a broken limb.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bishop Wren to this entry?)
Related terms[edit]