ripple

verb
rip·​ple | \ ˈri-pəl How to pronounce ripple (audio) \
rippled; rippling\ ˈri-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce rippling (audio) \

Definition of ripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to become lightly ruffled or covered with small waves
b : to flow in small waves
c : to fall in soft undulating folds the scarf rippled to the floor
2 : to flow with a light rise and fall of sound or inflection laughter rippled over the audience
3 : to move with an undulating motion or so as to cause ripples the canoe rippled through the water
4 : to have or produce a ripple effect : spread the news rippled outwards

transitive verb

1 : to stir up small waves on
2 : to impart a wavy motion or appearance to rippling his arm muscles
3 : to utter or play with a slight rise and fall of sound

ripple

noun

Definition of ripple (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a shallow stretch of rough water in a stream
b(1) : the ruffling of the surface of water
(2) : a small wave
b : a sound like that of rippling water a ripple of laughter
c : a usually slight noticeable effect or reaction

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Other Words from ripple

Verb

rippler \ ˈri-​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce rippler (audio) \ noun

Noun

ripply \ ˈri-​p(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ripply (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for ripple

Synonyms: Verb

bubble, dribble, guggle, gurgle, lap, plash, splash, trickle, wash

Antonyms: Verb

pour, roll, stream

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Examples of ripple in a Sentence

Verb

Water rippled under the dock. We could see the lion's muscles ripple. A cool breeze rippled the water.

Noun

The pebble made ripples in the pond when I threw it in.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sparking action The effects of introducing audiences into ocean worlds can ripple far beyond the movie theater. Barbara Tannenbaum, The Christian Science Monitor, "One film festival's quest to turn moviegoers into ocean stewards," 7 Mar. 2018 Images via Dezeen After Hotel Okura, Tokyo’s 1960s icon, was partially demolished in 2015 to make way for renovations, an outcry of disappointment rippled through architecture and design circles. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Tokyo’s iconic Hotel Okura to reopen in 2019 after renovations," 13 July 2018 This is how a single break-in has rippled across the black market world of drugs, property crime and guns on Anchorage streets. Anchorage Daily News, "Addicts stole 36 guns in a single break-in. 1 was used in a murder. Where are the rest?," 24 Mar. 2018 Still, investors remain concerned that defaults in China’s domestic market could ripple offshore. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "China’s Developers Go on Borrowing Spree," 12 Feb. 2019 Piles of trash, plastic bottles and other unidentifiable refuse can be seen rippling and crashing ashore in video and images posted on social media. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Waves of garbage crash ashore in stunning footage," 15 Aug. 2018 The administration’s action, which could ripple through the education system from prekindergarten through college, was the latest of several measures critics say have eroded civil rights protections in classrooms and on college campuses. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, "Trump administration moves to rescind Obama-era guidance on race in admissions," 3 July 2018 Etalon Group The watery print stretches from facade to facade, like a wave rippling in crests. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Behold, Hokusai’s famous wave print stretching across six buildings," 18 Dec. 2018 What & WhereThe Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s rice basket—a watery landscape of floating markets, stilt houses, Khmer-style pagodas, and rippling green paddies. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Take Your Vietnam Trip to the Next Level," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Smooth ceilings have a tendency to have some ripples and waves in them, so the flat finish helps minimize those imperfections. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Everything You've Ever Needed to Know About Painting Your Ceilings," 15 Mar. 2019 The electrical and chemical ripples can stimulate neurons throughout the brain, according to this theory. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, "Vertigo, Panic and Trouble Breathing: What's Going On Here?," 19 Oct. 2018 This caused a ripple of legal ramifications including the separating of families because children cannot be held in criminal detention. USA TODAY, "Jimmy Kimmel, Jessica Chastain, more stars rail against Trump's immigration policy," 18 June 2018 This created ripples and vibrations that were felt all over. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Concerts this week in Louisville: Pretenders, Fanfare for the 4th & more," 29 June 2018 The panels respond to pressure, so electronic water ripples under each step. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Weed and luxury in Las Vegas," 15 Nov. 2018 With quantum tunneling, the wave nature of protons allows them to overlap ever so slightly, like ripples merging on the surface of a pond. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 The amphibious vessel overturned during a fast-moving summer storm that produced near-hurricane gusts which turned ripples into massive waves. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Branson duck boat operator was warned in 2017 of dangers, inspector says," 22 July 2018 That intense identification between reader and victim ripples violently through McNamara’s book. Megan Abbott, latimes.com, "Why do we — women in particular — love true crime books?," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ripple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ripple

Verb

circa 1671, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1755, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ripple

Verb

perhaps frequentative of rip entry 1

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Statistics for ripple

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ripple

The first known use of ripple was circa 1671

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More Definitions for ripple

ripple

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move in small waves
: to pass or spread through or over (someone or something)

ripple

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ripple (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small wave on the surface of a liquid
: a shape or pattern having small waves
: a sound that gradually becomes louder and then quieter

ripple

verb
rip·​ple | \ ˈri-pəl How to pronounce ripple (audio) \
rippled; rippling

Kids Definition of ripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move or cause to move in small waves The lion's muscles rippled. A breeze rippled the water.
2 : to pass or spread over or through Laughter rippled through the crowd.

ripple

noun

Kids Definition of ripple (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a very small wave on the surface of a liquid The rock made ripples in the pond.
2 : something that passes or spreads through a ripple of laughter

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More from Merriam-Webster on ripple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ripple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ripple

Spanish Central: Translation of ripple

Nglish: Translation of ripple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ripple for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ripple

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