scintillate

verb
scin·​til·​late | \ ˈsin-tə-ˌlāt How to pronounce scintillate (audio) \
scintillated; scintillating

Definition of scintillate

intransitive verb

1 : to emit sparks : spark
2 : to emit quick flashes as if throwing off sparks : sparkle Imagine it's a cool summer night, the stars scintillate brilliantly in the sky overhead and the campfire blazes away.— Thomas E. Young
3 : to dazzle or impress with liveliness or wit The Jay Tarses sitcom, which scintillates with whacked-out wit, was dropped by NBC in 1988 because it was deemed too quirky.— Lawrence Eisenberg Mrs. Burnett's discussion of the Orestes leads the way to a new interpretation of Euripides' Apolline solution, a solution which has titillated, puzzled and infuriated generations of scholars. The arguments scintillate, but sometimes are pushed too far.— Geoffrey Arnott

transitive verb

: to throw off as a spark or as sparkling flashes scintillate witticisms

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Other Words from scintillate

scintillator \ ˈsin-​tə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce scintillator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for scintillate

Synonyms

spark, sparkle

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The Sparkling History of Scintillate

In addition to its literal use, scintillate can mean "to sparkle" in a figurative sense - that is, to be lively, or to perform brilliantly. It is also frequently seen in its adjectival form, scintillating, with the meaning "very clever, amusing, and interesting," as in a scintillating discussion. The history of scintillate began with a spark - or with the Latin word for "spark," at least. That word, scintilla, is also the source of other words in English. There is scintilla itself (used as a noun meaning "a little bit"), scintillant (an adjective describing something that scintillates), and scintillation (which, among other things, means "a brilliant outburst").

Examples of scintillate in a Sentence

we watched contentedly as our campfire scintillated in the darkness the diamond ring scintillated in the sunlight

Recent Examples on the Web

However, after securing a place in the last 16 of the World Cup after just two games; having scored eight goals and conceded just once from open play, alongside witnessing two first halves of scintillating football, my motivation is a lot clearer. SI.com, "90min World Cup Fan Diaries: England's Start Shows Why Fans Religiously Follow Three Lions," 25 June 2018 His eighth of the tournament and second of the game was a scintillating Brazil at their best, killing off any hopes of the World Cup staying in Europe, while a despondent Kahn was left to reflect on what might have been after the final whistle. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 4 Weeks to Go - Golden Ball in Safe Hands After Oliver Kahn's Historic Triumph," 27 May 2018 Raucous laughter throughout the screening was followed by scintillating chatter afterward, as guests mingled over Champagne and fare inspired by the book. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Henry Golding Hosts a Secret Screening of Crazy Rich Asians," 24 July 2018 The actress, who turned heads this year as the new face of Lady Dior, also scintillated on the silver screen in Rob Marshall's musical film Nine. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Marion Cotillard Fêted by Dior," 12 Jan. 2010 By now, Harden’s scintillating campaign—which included 11 40-point games, four 50-point games, and a career-high 60 points in a win over Orlando—is old news. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "From Sixth Man to MVP: James Harden Reflects on Steady Climb to NBA Mountain Top," 26 June 2018 The Belgium midfielder has been in scintillating form this season, with the fan favourite particularly impressive in Tottenham's 2-2 draw away to Juventus in the Champions League. SI.com, "Spurs Prepared to Cash in on Interest in Key Midfielder as Mauricio Pochettino Looks to Future," 17 Apr. 2018 The results are less than scintillating: There's one All-Star in Kemba Walker. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "2 starters from 7 lottery picks since 2011: Why Hornets' poor draft history must change," 7 June 2018 The 125-recipe cookbook, which hits stores tomorrow, features brunch highlights, sensory-scintillating hors d’oeuvres, and unforgettable main courses, like the signature curry fried chicken drizzled with spiced honey. Sunset, "Bring Home the Magic of One of SF’s Best Restaurants," 22 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scintillate.' 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 scintillate

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for scintillate

Latin scintillatus, past participle of scintillare to sparkle, from scintilla spark

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Time Traveler for scintillate

The first known use of scintillate was circa 1623

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More Definitions for scintillate

scintillate

intransitive verb
scin·​til·​late | \ ˈsint-ᵊl-ˌāt How to pronounce scintillate (audio) \
scintillated; scintillating

Medical Definition of scintillate

: to produce scintillation

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More from Merriam-Webster on scintillate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scintillate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scintillate

Nglish: Translation of scintillate for Spanish Speakers

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