spar·​kle | \ ˈspär-kəl How to pronounce sparkle (audio) \
sparkled; sparkling\ ˈspär-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce sparkle (audio) \

Definition of sparkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to throw out sparks
b : to give off or reflect bright moving points of light
c : to perform brilliantly
2 : effervesce wine that sparkles
3 : to become lively or animated the dialogue sparkles with wit eyes sparkling with anger

transitive verb

: to cause to glitter or shine



Definition of sparkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a little spark : scintillation
2 : the quality of sparkling
b : the quality or state of being effervescent

Synonyms for sparkle

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for sparkle


flash, gleam, glint, sparkle, glitter, glisten, glimmer, shimmer mean to send forth light. flash implies a sudden outburst of bright light. lightning flashed gleam suggests a steady light seen through an obscuring medium or against a dark background. lights gleamed in the valley glint implies a cold glancing light. glinting steel sparkle suggests innumerable moving points of bright light. the sparkling waters glitter connotes a brilliant sparkling or gleaming. glittering diamonds glisten applies to the soft sparkle from a wet or oily surface. glistening wet sidewalk glimmer suggests a faint or wavering gleam. a distant glimmering light shimmer means shining with a wavering light. a shimmering satin dress

Examples of sparkle in a Sentence

Verb The dancers sparkled on stage. Her eyes sparkled with pride. Noun The sun reflected off the water in bright sparkles of light. He caught the sparkle of her diamond out of the corner of his eye. a performance full of sparkle and originality the sparkle in her eyes See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As an option, the turn signals and daytime lights can include Swarovski crystals that sparkle in sunlight. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 20 Apr. 2022 Little cut glass jars with wooden lids sparkle under the dim lights as bartenders spoon jam into shakers to make the cobbler cocktails. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 21 Aug. 2021 Covering the base of the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl volcanoes, roughly 60 miles from Mexico City, the forests simply sparkle with these celestial floating constellations of fireflies. Meagan Drillinger, Travel + Leisure, 21 Feb. 2022 The book itself is a work of art; each generation of Buccellati’s creations sparkle off the page. Ian Malone, Vogue, 3 Feb. 2022 Suffice to say, Lizzo put in the work and still managed to sparkle at the after-party. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 17 Apr. 2022 Last but not least is the superficial stuff: These products ensure that your gray hairs sparkle like silver. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 7 Apr. 2022 Is there a more striking illustration of this trend than the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, encased in a mantle of shiny aluminum fins that sparkle and twinkle like so many vertical sequins? Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2022 Lady Gaga was clearly determined to sparkle at the SAG Awards this year. Marci Robin, Allure, 28 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The metallic mules are by Mach & Mach and add a touch of sparkle with their crystal double bows on the front. Alexis Gaskin, Glamour, 28 Apr. 2022 Nothing beats a mirror for refreshing a space or adding sparkle, which is why mirrors of all shapes and sizes are a staple of decorating. Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 Its 60-foot-high gold-leaf cylinder on the southwest corner might be the keyboard, adding sparkle and pop to the overall mix. Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2021 The gala decor, created by Millenium Events, transforms the hotel's Grand Ballroom into a wonderland of sparkle and glamour. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 22 Apr. 2022 Here are five celebrity products with the right amount of sparkle and substance. Wsj Editors, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 This not only disperses the light evenly but creates a twinkling effect as the eye moves across the fascia, echoing the subtle sparkle of the Shooting Star Starlight Headliner. Josh Max, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 But the look predominantly is shaped by the vibrant color palette and sparkle of a teen girl’s eye view. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Mar. 2022 Because the fun of the movie lies in the modestly budgeted sparkle and foreboding ingenuity of Soderbergh’s direction. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 9 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of sparkle


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sparkle


Middle English, frequentative of sparken to spark


Middle English, diminutive of sparke

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Time Traveler for sparkle

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The first known use of sparkle was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sparkle

spark knock


spark lead

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Statistics for sparkle

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sparkle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sparkle


spar·​kle | \ ˈspär-kəl How to pronounce sparkle (audio) \
sparkled; sparkling

Kids Definition of sparkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give off small flashes of light The diamond sparkled.
2 : to be lively or bright The conversation sparkled. His eyes sparkled.



Kids Definition of sparkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a little flash of light sparkles of red light
2 : the quality of being bright or giving off small flashes of light the sparkle of a diamond the sparkle of her eyes

More from Merriam-Webster on sparkle

Nglish: Translation of sparkle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sparkle for Arabic Speakers


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