Definition of spatter in English:



  • 1 Cover with drops or spots of something:

    ‘passing vehicles spattered his shoes and trousers with mud’
    • ‘Various scorch marks and spattered blood let her know she had indeed missed something.’
    • ‘He screamed, flecks of spit spattering her face.’
    • ‘Blood spattered the walls when one of the younger men tried to defend the Inn and his family.’
    • ‘This time blood spattered on his hand as he covered his mouth.’
    • ‘Someone tossed a melon-rind at Adriana's feet; drops of cool slime spattered her ankles.’
    • ‘Blood spattered her black robe and she cringed.’
    • ‘Checking them over, both were dirty and blood spattered but none of it theirs.’
    • ‘He slammed into the opposing wall, spattering it with blood.’
    • ‘Dark drops spattered on the ground and she stilled.’
    • ‘He could feel the blood spattering his shoulder.’
    • ‘Although blood spattered the walls, the pillar of light still stood.’
    • ‘There's a movie shot: an innocent, 10-year-old child with one spattered line of blood across the face, and perfectly emotionless.’
    • ‘She coughed, her hand over her mouth and when she pulled it away, blood was spattered on it.’
    splash, bespatter, splatter, spray, sprinkle, spritz, shower, speck, speckle, fleck, mottle, blotch, smear, stain, mark, dirty, soil, daub, cover
    splotch, splodge
    besprinkle, bedabble
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    1. 1.1 Scatter or splash (liquid, mud, etc.) over a surface:
      ‘he spatters grease all over the cooker’
      • ‘The man fell against the railing as soapy water splashed everywhere, spattering the deck and running off the ship through the rails.’
      • ‘This will cause the paint to spatter on the surface.’
      • ‘Sprinklers were spattering the freshly mowed lawn on the football field with tiny droplets of water.’
      • ‘Jason finally sprinted ahead, and jumped into the pool, spattering us with water.’
      • ‘A shower of fluid spattered the shaving mirror.’
      splash, wet, spray, shower, bespatter, splatter, sprinkle
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    2. 1.2[no object] Fall so as to be scattered over an area:
      ‘she watched the raindrops spatter down’
      • ‘Rain was falling on the plains beyond the window, fat drops spattering soundlessly on the glass.’
      • ‘She watched as it spattered on the ground far below.’
      • ‘Light rain began to fall, but made no noise as it spattered on the sheer-plated roofs.’
      • ‘The rain spattered against the window.’


  • 1A spray or splash of something:

    ‘she stood clear of the spatter of water that came off the steps’
    • ‘I rolled to the side and I coughed, and I saw a small spatter of blood fall to the floor.’
    • ‘The blood spatter was even more horrible than before.’
    • ‘Isabelle gazed down at her faded denim dungarees which were covered in spatters of colourful paint.’
    • ‘It was a breathable atmosphere but cold and wet, thanks to the spatter of rainfall against the canopy.’
    • ‘She stood at the water's edge and felt a spatter hit her face.’
    • ‘The spatter of rain pounded on the windows of what seemed like a apartment loft of some kind.’
    • ‘Thick daubs and spatters of paint represent the fruit and jugs.’
    • ‘The rain spatters on the windows and doors heavily.’
    • ‘Prosecutors say he is tied to the crime by witnesses, blood spatters, ballistics and DNA analysis.’
    • ‘Not a tired old coulis swiggle or powdery spatter among the lot.’
    • ‘To control spatters and the residue of cooking fumes, the entire kitchen should be washed with a good degreaser at least once a week.’
    • ‘Black walls are patterned with a brown spatter of knots.’
    • ‘They're practical and help protect clothes against spatters and spills.’
    • ‘Both he and the vehicle bore orangish spatter marks.’
    • ‘I grabbed a pair of tight blue jeans with paint spatters dotting them.’
    • ‘All of his clothes were covered in paint spatters.’
    • ‘It glinted in the sunlight, sending a bright spatter of colour over the cement.’
    • ‘We stop beside spatters of brown blood on a ceiling and a floor.’
    • ‘It occupies the entire 6-foot-high composition, with ink spatters, sgraffito and handprints enlivening the surface.’
    • ‘Outside, the sky was dark and I could hear the spitter spatter of rain along with the thunder.’
    1. 1.1 A sprinkling:
      ‘there was a spatter of freckles over her nose’
      • ‘Anyway, there was a spatter of water just pouring off this lip.’
      • ‘A spatter of bullets told Hoffman of the attempted attack.’
    2. 1.2 A short outburst of sound:
      ‘the sharp spatter of shots’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘splutter while speaking’): frequentative, from a base shared by Dutch, Low German spatten burst, spout.