Definition of shatter in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈʃatə/


1Break or cause to break suddenly and violently into pieces: [no object]: bullets riddled the bar top, glasses shattered, bottles exploded [with object]: the window was shattered by a stone
More example sentences
  • With a stealthy leap, Percival broke through the window, shattering pieces of glass over the floor in front of the window, and on the roof right outside it.
  • The glass top shattered in a million pieces flying across the room like shrapnel.
  • Her mirror that hung on the door was broken - shattered into hundreds of pieces as if fell to the ground.
smash, smash to smithereens, break, break into pieces, burst, blow out;
explode, implode;
splinter, crack, fracture, fragment, disintegrate
informal bust
rare shiver
1.1 [with object] Damage or destroy (something abstract): the crisis will shatter their confidence
More example sentences
  • The gym hall was strewn with sobbing lassies, their lives ruined, their confidence shattered by human error.
  • We must destroy before they shatter our being with their ignorance.
  • Early losses can end a team's season, wreck its confidence, shatter its psyche.
destroy, wreck, ruin, dash, crush, devastate, demolish, wreak havoc with, blast, blight, wipe out, overturn, torpedo, scotch;
burst someone's bubble
informal put the kibosh on, banjax, do for, blow a hole in, nix, put paid to, queer
British informal scupper, dish
archaic bring to naught
2 [with object] Upset (someone) greatly: everyone was shattered by the news
More example sentences
  • At a book signing in Edinburgh, I saw him in the flesh, and I was shattered by the experience.
  • Thomas's senseless, sudden death during a night out with friends shocked York and shattered a family.
  • Stevie joins us live to perform his brand new single and his gift for the people shattered by the storm.
devastate, shock, stun, daze, dumbfound, traumatize, crush, overwhelm, greatly upset, distress
informal knock for six, knock sideways, knock the stuffing out of
devastating, crushing, staggering, severe, savage, overwhelming, traumatic, very great, dreadful, terrible, awful





Example sentences
  • As he watched the huge mushroom cloud rise 30,000 feet, he murmured words in Sanskrit from the great Hindu scripture, the Bhaghavad-Gita: ‘I am become Death; the shatterer of worlds.’
  • Second only to car alarms as a shatterer of urban tranquillity are ‘boom-box’ cars - vehicles rigged with stereo amplifiers so powerful that they can rattle windowpanes blocks away.


Pronunciation: /ˈʃatəpruːf/
Example sentences
  • Bars will be stocked with toughened and shatterproof glass, staff will be given special safety training, and the company will set up a special community fund to help create a safer environment in town and city centres.
  • It is made of an extremely durable synthetic material that makes it shatterproof and scratch resistant (not scratchproof).
  • And I don't think he knows about the bottle of ketchup that met an ignominious end on that carpet when my brothers decided to test the shatterproof claim on the ketchup bottle.


Middle English (in the sense 'scatter, disperse'): perhaps imitative; compare with scatter.

Words that rhyme with shatter

attar, batter, bespatter, chatter, clatter, flatter, hatter, Kenyatta, latter, matamata, matter, natter, patter, platter, ratter, regatta, satyr, scatter, smatter, spatter, splatter, yatter

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shat|ter

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.