Definition of scintillate
scintillatorplay \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
scintillate was our Word of the Day on 09/18/2010. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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 of scintillate from the Web
This collaboration wouldn't exactly shock or scintillate anyone, but Sheeran and the Foo Fighters are absolutely capable of writing a single together.
Everyone involved seems eminently capable of scintillating dinner conversation.
The still scintillating virtuoso leads a quintet featuring the saxophonist Bruce Williams.
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.
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").
Origin and Etymology of scintillate
Latin scintillatus, past participle of scintillare to sparkle, from scintilla spark
First Known Use: circa 1623See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up scintillate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).