Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A slat of wood, as one in the middle of a chair back.
  • n. A smacking or splashing noise.
  • adv. With a smacking or splashing noise: landed splat on the floor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sharp, atonal sound of a liquid or soft solid hitting a solid surface.
  • n. The irregular shape of a viscous liquid or soft solid which has hit a solid surface.
  • n. The cmd key on an Apple Macintosh.
  • n. Various characters appearing in computer character sets, particularly # and *.
  • n. The narrow wooden centre piece of a chair back.
  • v. To hit a flat surface and deform into an irregular shape.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To split; splay; extend; spread out.
  • n. A thin, flat piece of wood; in furniture, a flat piece of wood worked into a back or other part of a frame.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. flatten on impact
  • n. a single splash
  • v. split open and flatten for cooking
  • v. give off the sound of a bullet flattening on impact
  • n. a slat of wood in the middle of the back of a straight chair

Etymologies

Perhaps from Middle English splatten, to split open, perhaps from Medieval Latin splattāre, of Low German origin.
Imitative.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Onomatopoeia (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This is the last week of classes so I am ending with a bang, or rather a "splat" - the class concludes with a great egg toss (one student today managed to successfully catch a raw egg with her face, much to the enjoyment of her peers) and a brief letter (abridged below) I wrote to all my students, concerning what I have learned in China this past year:

    Chengdu TOT (Training Of Trainees)

  • "A broadly played clown show full of lowbrow antics, Bong's big splat is itself a sort of monster," suggests J Hoberman in the Voice, "the top grossing movie in South Korean history — and, since it surfaced at Cannes last May, festival audiences having been slurping it down like ramen ....

    GreenCine Daily: Interview. Bong Joon-ho.

  • Multiple System Failure: denying death and how to 'splat'

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • Ya know how Frogger goes "splat" when he gets run over because you're a dolt and misjudged while playing the game?

    Mum's the Word

  • There was a "splat" sound, and Gant poured out of the jumpcar.

    Darkness of the Light

  • Apparently, Storm using lightning to "splat" someone isn't considered violent so long as she's not holding a howitzer.

    Science Fiction Babes

  • At any rate, The Grudge has atmosphere and shock-value oozing from every frame ... but you find yourself not caring who lives and dies (except for the detective and the smart woman -- who I genuinely hoped would not go "splat" in a choad-like fashion**).

    The Grudge

  • And what happened to your hitchhiking Mars probe can you say "splat"?

    NASA Watch: News: January 2006 Archives

  • Followed by a "splat" which at least meant he hit the vinyl floor.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • The bullets swept on with a biting hiss, and some of them terminated their careers with a vicious "splat" against the great overhang of rock or the woodwork of the trestle-built sluices.

    The Triumph of John Kars A Story of the Yukon

Comments

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  • "There’s a funny painting in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery. It’s called the Portinari Altarpiece and it was painted by Hugo Van Der Goes a long time ago. It’s a Madonna and Child, and those usually aren’t very funny, and this one wouldn’t be either if it weren’t for the fact that it looks like Mary has just dropped her baby. Mary stands there, arms outstretched, looking down at baby Jesus who is lying on the ground on his back. There’s a patch of golden straw underneath him,which looks like the splat sound in an animated cartoon when the Coyote runs into a wall or hits the ground after falling off a cliff."
    - J. Daniel Gillespie, 'Battleground: Florence'.

    February 18, 2009