ripple

1 of 2

verb

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

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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
rippler noun

ripple

2 of 2

noun

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Meanwhile, wars in the Middle East and Ukraine continue overseas, dividing Americans' views on foreign policy, with the conflicts rippling out in protests at major U.S. college campuses from coast to coast. Josh Margolin, ABC News, 20 May 2024 What happened next would ripple all the way through one of the largest corporations on earth—GM. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for ripple 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ripple.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

perhaps frequentative of rip entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1755, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of ripple was circa 1671

Dictionary Entries Near ripple

Cite this Entry

“Ripple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ripple. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

ripple

1 of 2 verb
rip·​ple ˈrip-əl How to pronounce ripple (audio)
rippled; rippling -(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce ripple (audio)
1
a
: to become or cause to become covered with small waves
b
: to flow in small waves
2
: to make a sound like that of water flowing in small waves
laughter rippled through the crowd
3
: to move with a wavy motion

ripple

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: the disturbing of the surface of water
b
: a small wave or a mark like a small wave
2
: a sound like that of rippling water

More from Merriam-Webster on ripple

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