spar·​kle | \ ˈspär-kəl \
sparkled; sparkling\ ˈspär-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \ 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

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 Coke has been pushing to broaden its portfolio of drinks as consumers shift to healthier options like sparkling water and kombucha. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "Coca-Cola to Take It Slow on Marijuana," 31 Oct. 2018 Get ready for the smoothest cold brew of your life, sparkling coconut water, grapefruit seltzer, and more. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "The 13 Best Healthy Drinks You Can Get at the Supermarket," 20 Aug. 2018 As gross as the man who preys on Morrigan is, Moran’s voice always sparkles and fizzes. Constance Grady, Vox, "The 16 best books I read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 In the late afternoon, the tree canopy above the North Branch Trail sparkles, like a crown of amber and garnet. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "The 15 Best Places to Go Hiking in the Fall," 28 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While the production is light on dramatics and possibly gives more sparkle than any Kinky Boot, mere child's play this show is not. Aaron Leth, Harper's BAZAAR, "Curtain Call: Aladdin," 27 Mar. 2014 But these Rupert Sanderson pumps (a brand that Kate has worn before) give just the right amount of sparkle to stand out. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Changes Up Her Shoe Game at the Royal Opera House," 16 Jan. 2019 Think: statement pieces, over-the-top jewelry, and lots of sparkle. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "The Fashion-Forward Couples Who Dominated 2018," 29 Nov. 2018 There’s also former reality-TV star Ksenia Sobchak, who’s run a campaign critical of Putin while laboring under accusations from opposition leader Alexey Navalny that the Kremlin encouraged her candidacy to add sparkle to the lackluster contest. Henry Meyer,, "Russians Vote on New Putin Term as Tensions Flare With West," 17 Mar. 2018 Variety: The asymmetry and confusion seems to have started a few years ago with painting one fingernail on the hand a different color than the rest, or adding sparkle to that one nail. Allison Carey,, "New year, new nails, what's new in manicures: Style Resolutions 2018 (photos)," 8 Jan. 2018 Though that featured sleeves and extra embellishments like feathers, her metallic dress tonight was all about the sparkle and shine. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Keri Russell Wore a Metallic Plunging Neckline Dress to the 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 The nearly 250-year-old Irish company makes crystal pieces treasured by collectors for their clear finish and precise cuts, which maximize the sparkle. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Waterford Crystal Released Their 2019 Pattern For The New Year's Ball," 29 Dec. 2018 As recent Pinterest users have shown, sparkle appears to be sticking around. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Cosmetics Announced Three New Metal Lip Kits," 24 Dec. 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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Learn More about sparkle

Statistics for sparkle

Last Updated

12 Feb 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 \
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

What made you want to look up sparkle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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