splinter(redirected from splintering)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
splinter off (of) (something)and splinter off (from something)
[for a bit of something] to tear off or separate from something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) A piece of wood splintered off of the oar and dropped into the water. A tiny bit splintered off and stuck in my hand.
A part of an organization that breaks away from the main body, usually owing to disagreement. For example, Perot's supporters at first constituted a splinter group but soon formed a third political party . This idiom alludes to the noun splinter, a fragment of wood or some other material that is split or broken off. [Mid-1900s]