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

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Other Words from sparkle


sparkly \ ˈspär-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce sparkly (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for sparkle

Synonyms: Verb

scintillate, spark

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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


The dancers sparkled on stage. Her eyes sparkled with pride.


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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sel sparkled in $12,000 diamond hoop earrings and her go-to $9,500 Tiffany & Co. diamond cross necklace. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez Wore $21.5k Worth of Diamonds to Her First Movie Premiere in Two Years," 2 July 2018 Monet X Change comes in sweeping the floor dressed as a janitor, which gives way to sparkling hot pants. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 10 premiere recap: Mayhem Miller, Miz Cracker and Christina Aguilera," 22 Mar. 2018 Drinks: The Negrosé offers a bubbly spin on the negroni by trading gin for sparkling rosé ($14). Samantha Nelson, RedEye Chicago, "Warm up with these 16 winter brunches in Chicago," 18 Jan. 2018 There were other contributors in this one, including starter Junior Guerra, who went six innings and allowed only one run, boosting his record to 6-5 with a sparkling 2.79 ERA. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 10, Braves 3: Jesus Aguilar continues a torrid season with two homers and four RBI," 8 July 2018 And in California marijuana dispensaries, Heineken subsidiary Lagunitas is already selling sparkling water infused with CBD and its psychoactive cousin, THC. Dee-ann Durbin, The Seattle Times, "Marlboro maker Altria the latest big company to explore pot," 5 Dec. 2018 Lauren finished her tweet with some heart and sparkle emojis to drive home the good vibes and her message of love and support. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Lauren Jauregui May Have Weighed in on Tiffany Haddish's Fifth Harmony Diss During VMAs 2018," 22 Aug. 2018 But the real stars of the week were newcomer Yalitza Aparicio in Prabal Gurung’s sparkling, encrusted slip and the ever astonishing Emma Stone in Nicolas Ghesquière’s floral-on-floral corset and trouser for Louis Vuitton. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "10 Best Dressed: Week of January 7, 2019," 7 Jan. 2019 Pier 94 clears out, and everyone — tuxes, sparkles, and all — is asked to leave. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sells a fantasy of empowerment. I sorta believed it.," 3 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These red, white and blue foods will make your July 4th party sparkle. Jennifer Mcclellan, USA TODAY, "6 colorful July 4th recipes to make your party sparkle," 3 July 2018 Which is maybe why Becca Kufrin, months after her stint on The Bachelor, seems zapped of her characteristic sparkle that made her a fan-favorite. Rebecca Farley,, "The Bachelorette Season 14 Premiere Recap: Not Gonna Say It," 29 May 2018 Here are some tips for getting the ultimate sparkle and shine from your Christmas tree lights! Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here's How to Hang Christmas Lights on Your Tree," 8 Dec. 2017 Matching her electric blue, strapless Calvin Klein by Appointment dress with sparkles throughout to her bold blue mascara, Nyong'o looks radiant before headed to the Golden Globes red carpet. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Celebrity Instagrams From The 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 The lip kits — which come in three shades — were named in honor of the season's festivities, and include Midnight Kiss (a bright copper), Naughty Is The New Nice (a shimmering red), and In With The New (a pink-purple hue flecked with sparkle). Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Cosmetics Announced Three New Metal Lip Kits," 24 Dec. 2018 To complete her sparkle, Eugenie wore a beautiful pair of diamond and emerald earrings, which, according to the Royal Family's website, were a gift from Jack. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Jack Brooksbank Gave Princess Eugenie the Diamond and Emerald Earrings She Wore to Her Wedding,," 12 Oct. 2018 Queen Elizabeth provided Meghan Markle with some new sparkle for their first solo outing together. Erin Hill,, "Queen Elizabeth Gave Meghan Markle a Gorgeous Pair of Earrings for Their First Trip Together," 14 June 2018 While this highlighter is illuminating, it isn’t filled with chunky sparkles. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Becca Created a Highlighter for Meghan Markle," 14 May 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for sparkle

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sparkle

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

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More Definitions for sparkle



English Language Learners Definition of sparkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to produce small flashes of light
: to perform very well
: to be or become bright and lively



English Language Learners Definition of sparkle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small flash of bright light
: a lively quality


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sparkle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sparkle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sparkle

Spanish Central: Translation of sparkle

Nglish: Translation of sparkle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sparkle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sparkle

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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