- 1[intransitive, transitive] to suddenly break into small pieces; to make something suddenly break into small pieces shatter (into something) He dropped the vase and it shattered into pieces on the floor. the sound of shattering glass shatter something (into something) The explosion shattered all the windows in the building. See related entries: Materials and properties
- 2[transitive, intransitive] to destroy something completely, especially somebody’s feelings, hopes or beliefs; to be destroyed in this way shatter something (into something) Anna's self-confidence had been completely shattered. Injury shattered his dreams of competing in the Olympics. Her experience of divorce shattered her illusions about love. shatter (into something) My whole world shattered into a million pieces.
- 3[transitive] shatter somebody to make somebody feel extremely shocked and upset The unexpected death of their son shattered them. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘scatter, disperse’): perhaps imitative; compare with scatter.Extra examples The mirror shattered into a thousand pieces. The moment was abruptly shattered by the sound of Mia’s loud voice. an event that completely shattered her life Shattered homes were ablaze. Windows were shattered in the blast.
BrE BrE//ˈʃætə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃætər//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they shatter
BrE BrE//ˈʃætə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃætər//he / she / it shatters
BrE BrE//ˈʃætəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃætərz//past simple shattered
BrE BrE//ˈʃætəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃætərd//past participle shattered
BrE BrE//ˈʃætəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃætərd//-ing form shattering
BrE BrE//ˈʃætərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃætərɪŋ//Materials and properties