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高温の鉄板には、垂らした水さえも弾け散る。

I looked up in a few dictionaries but I don't find the word anywhere. How come?

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散る is used with various motion verbs and forms intransitive compound verbs. As far as I can remember for now, it almost always adds the meaning of "for fragments/particles to scatter". Relatively common ones are:

  • (水などが) 飛び散る
  • (爆発などで物が) 砕け散る
  • (花びらや雪が) 舞い散る

And uncommon ones found on BCCWJ are:

  • (煙が) 流れ散る
  • (鳥の羽が) 羽ばたき散る

The only exception on BCCWJ was (戦場で兵士が)果て散る, where both 果てる and 散る mean "to perish" or "to die a noble death".

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