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 In the sunshine, the surface of the Merrimack River often seems to sparkle. Camille Caldera,, 3 July 2022 Any drone or spotter on the ground with a laser-designator can sparkle a target. David Axe, Forbes, 28 June 2022 Approach your next soiree, barbecue or clambake armed with the following fascinating facts and let the conversation flow and sparkle from there, Algonquin Round Table style. WSJ, 3 June 2022 Elsewhere, Naomi Osaka took a moment poolside in Miami wearing quite the elegant look: a silver, sparkle-dotted sleeveless turtleneck dress. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 9 Apr. 2022 And lastly, the vibrant Sri Lanka Brooch set — featuring pink, blue and yellow sapphires, garnets, rubies and aquamarine — which was gifted to the Queen in 1981, will sparkle on exhibit too. Monique Jessen,, 12 May 2022 Her ears sparkle with diamonds in three holes on each ear, and thin silver bands encircle her fingers. Glamour, 2 May 2022 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Be cool, be calm, ask good questions, and let your in-laws see your sparkle. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 6 Aug. 2022 Be cool, be calm, ask good questions, and let your in-laws see your sparkle. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 6 Aug. 2022 Uniform Objects horn studs with diamonds are graphic and filled with sparkle. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 18 July 2022 The sequel shifts perspective from the original, which captured the eponymous teen’s triumphs through a male protagonist’s lens, and better foregrounds her sparkle and shine. Courtney Howard, Variety, 1 June 2022 But Carrie Underwood stole the style for the evening donning sparkle. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 12 June 2022 This particular variant could also be finished with 60 white diamonds on the case bezel for a little extra sparkle. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 26 May 2022 Until now, Foundrae had steered clear of using larger gemstones, instead incorporating a small diamond or two for subtle sparkle. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 To get that debutant glow, fans will want to snag the Blushing Delights palette with three baked blushes and a luminous highlighter, paired with the Skin Fetish: Skintillating Diamond Body Shimmer for an angelic sparkle. Ariana Yaptangco, Glamour, 24 Mar. 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

Time Traveler

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

28 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sparkle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 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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