Definition of scintillate
- stars scintillate in the sky
- scintillate witticisms
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we watched contentedly as our campfire scintillated in the darkness
the diamond ring scintillated in the sunlight
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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").
First Known Use: circa 1623See Words from the same year
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