Simple Definition of scintilla
: a very small amount of something
Examples of scintilla in a sentence
<there is not a scintilla of evidence for your outrageous claims>
Did You Know?
Scintilla comes directly from Latin, where it carries the meaning of "spark" - that is, a bright flash such as you might see from a burning ember. In English, however, our use of "scintilla" is restricted to the figurative sense of "spark" - a hint or trace of something that barely suggests its presence. The Latin scintilla is related to the verb "scintillare," which means "to sparkle" and is responsible for our verb "scintillate" ("to sparkle or gleam," literally or figuratively). In an odd twist, "scintilla" underwent a transposition of the "c" and the "t" (a linguistic phenomenon known as metathesis) to create the Vulgar Latin form stincilla, which is believed to be an ancestor of our word stencil.
Origin of scintilla
First Known Use: 1661
Legal Definition of scintilla
: a small trace or barely perceptible amount of something (as evidence supporting a position)
Learn More about scintilla
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "scintilla"
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