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

  • n. A sharp, slender piece, as of wood, bone, glass, or metal, split or broken off from a main body.
  • n. A splinter group.
  • intransitive v. To split or break into sharp, slender pieces; form splinters. See Synonyms at break.
  • transitive v. To cause to splinter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long, sharp fragment of material; often wood.
  • n. A group that formed by splitting off from a larger membership.
  • v. To come apart into long sharp fragments.
  • v. To cause to break apart into long sharp fragments.
  • v. To break, or cause to break, into factions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thin piece split or rent off lengthwise, as from wood, bone, or other solid substance; a thin piece; a sliver.
  • intransitive v. To become split into long pieces.
  • transitive v. To split or rend into long, thin pieces; to shiver.
  • transitive v. To fasten or confine with splinters, or splints, as a broken limb.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To split or rend into long thin pieces; shiver.
  • To support by a splint, as a broken limb; splint.
  • To be split or rent into long pieces; shiver.
  • n. A sharp-edged fragment of anything split or shivered off more or less in the direction of its length; a thin piece (in proportion to its length) of wood or other solid substance rent from the main body; a splint.

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

  • v. withdraw from an organization or communion
  • v. break up into splinters or slivers
  • n. a small thin sharp bit or wood or glass or metal
  • v. divide into slivers or splinters


Middle English, from Middle Dutch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
to splint + -er (Wiktionary)



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  • “But Jesus was unafraid and he took the splinter from the brontosaurus’s paw and the big lizard became his friend.” not available on the page the link(s) point to.

    February 3, 2013