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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Celebs including Yara Shahidi, Letitia Wright, and Chloe x Halle brought their fashion A-game, wearing dresses that literally sparkled and shined. Teen Vogue, "The Best Celebrity Weekend Fashions Featuring Gigi Hadid, Yara Shahidi, and Chloe x Halle," 1 Apr. 2019 Everything got bigger and sparkling, and infused with more meaning, musicality. Greg Kot,, "How Ry Cooder persuaded Rosanne Cash to bring the songs of her dad, Johnny Cash, to Chicago," 12 June 2019 There is basically one version of the wine—unlike Chenin Blanc which can be made sweet or dry, still or sparkling, or somewhere in between. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "The Wines We’ll Be Drinking in 2019," 19 Dec. 2018 In the best passages, her witty dialogue sparkles like diamonds in Champagne. Ron Charles | The Washington Post,, "Elizabeth Gilbert will visit Portland to discuss her new novel, ‘City of Girls,’ about a young woman’s summer of sex," 7 June 2019 When the new moon coincides with a Monday, the small Indian town of Jejuri in western Maharashtra state sparkles with gold. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Hindu festival showers Indian town with turmeric," 5 June 2019 Maisie’s custom pale pink Coach dress literally sparkled with vintage crystal and sequin beading in floral motifs. Teen Vogue, "Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner Attend "Game of Thrones" Belfast Premiere," 13 Apr. 2019 Summit Entertainment Ten years ago this month, the first Twilight movie sparkled broodily into movie theaters. Constance Grady, Vox, "Reckoning with Twilight, 10 years later," 21 Nov. 2018 Emilia Wickstead sparkled in a black glitter frock while Charlotte Dellal showcased her new fetching red locks. Vogue, "It-Brits Celebrate the Food of Malton With a Festive Dinner at Claridge’s," 15 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Victoria Falls’ mile-wide curtain of water is nearly twice the width of Niagara Falls and plunges more than 350 feet into a narrow chasm, creating clouds of mist that sparkle in the sunlight. National Geographic, "Botswana & Victoria Falls High School Expedition," 17 June 2019 Don't forget a pair of colorful sunnies, a versatile belt bag, and some body jewels for extra sparkle. Seventeen, "How to Prep For Your First Pride Parade," 14 June 2019 Let this be a lesson to us all in the perfect, cool girl version of red carpet sparkle. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Katie Holmes Wore a Missoni Ball Gown and Looked So Chic," 10 June 2019 This rainbow-and-silver sparkle manicure takes you to outer space. Allure, "15 Nail Art Ideas to Wear During Pride — and They’re Not Just Rainbows," 6 June 2019 But Leeds, that most artful of directors, and his artistic colleagues have made Island City’s production sparkle at least like a top-of-the-line cubic zirconia, if not the sort of blinding diamond so adored by Ms. Taylor. Christine Dolen,, "Review: ‘Veronica’s Position’ sparkles like fine cubic zirconia at Island City Stage," 3 June 2019 Occasionally there flashes in his eyes a momentary sparkle of hatred, the hatred that others interpret as dedication. Amos Oz, Harper's magazine, "Setting the World to Rights," 10 Apr. 2019 The bomber, retailing for $299.99, is covered in silver sparkles and features hummingbird patches throughout. Colleen Kratofil,, "Feelin' Jovani! RHONY's Luann de Lesseps Designs $299 Cabaret-Inspired Jacket with the Brand," 13 June 2019 While Joe trudges through his day, Amelia is sparkle and light, quoting characters from Friends and jetting off to visit bears in the Lake Tahoe basin or to hike peaks around the world. Kathryn Miles, Outside Online, "'Find Me' Is the Indie Adventure Film We All Need," 4 June 2019

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

16 Jul 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

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