sparkle

1 of 2

verb

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

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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

sparkle

2 of 2

noun

1
: a little spark : scintillation
2
: the quality of sparkling
3
b
: the quality or state of being effervescent
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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
This recipe from Austin bar owner Chris Marshall uses juniper syrup, a cranberry sparkling beverage, and zero-alcohol gin. Michelle Darrisaw, Southern Living, 11 Apr. 2024 Beyond 350 days of sunshine per year, there are so many reasons to visit Palm Springs: sparkling pools, mid-century architecture, world-class events, arts and culture, and a thriving food scene (to name merely a few). Alesandra Dubin, Travel + Leisure, 11 Apr. 2024 Then the 10-year-old ran across the grass to her little sister, tilting her head to show how her face sparkled in the sunlight. Ellie Silverman, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 Coffee, milk, eggs, Greek yogurt, fruits, oatmeal, avocados, sparkling water, premade salads for easy lunches, and chocolate peanut butter cups for a sweet treat. Bon Appétit Contributor, Bon Appétit, 4 Apr. 2024 The outcome is a pool that sparkles from end to end, all while demanding significantly less effort from you. William Mullane, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2024 As the glass slides open, I’m met with a customer-free space, a mix of sleek wood paneling, mirrors, and diamond jewelry sparkling behind panes of glass throughout. Aemilia Madden, Vogue, 30 Mar. 2024 The future doesn’t exactly look sparkling for Napoli. Emmet Gates, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 The chafing dishes were full, and sparkled with Sterno and silver polish. Lily Meyer, The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2024
Noun
Sagittarius April’s romantic sparkle encourages you to live life to the full, Sagittarius. Debbie Frank, Peoplemag, 5 Apr. 2024 Amongst all the glitz and sparkle of Paris Couture Week back in January, one piece stood out. Kate Matthams, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 Come for the transformations, stay for the sparkle. USA TODAY, 22 Mar. 2024 But Cheers’ most impressive feat is never once losing its sparkle across 11 seasons. Kevin Jacobsen and Hope Lasater, EW.com, 21 Mar. 2024 Make the beach sparkle in Ventura Help keep our precious coast pristine by joining a beach cleanup effort at the Channel Islands National Park. Michael Charboneau, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2024 Lloyd says, a sparkle in his eyes coming from behind his stylish round glasses. Steve Hochman, SPIN, 19 Mar. 2024 As if the shimmering metallic fabric wasn’t enough sparkle, the plunging sweetheart neckline, straps, hem, and empire waist were all lined in rows of red rhinestones. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 11 Mar. 2024 There are blue seats at the bar, one wall that looks like a lava lamp, one wall with sparkles, an inflatable alien and lamps that look like circular spaceships. Carlos Rico, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sparkle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, frequentative of sparken to spark

Noun

Middle English, diminutive of sparke

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sparkle

Cite this Entry

“Sparkle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sparkle. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sparkle

1 of 2 verb
spar·​kle ˈspär-kəl How to pronounce sparkle (audio)
sparkled; sparkling -k(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce sparkle (audio)
1
a
: to throw out sparks
b
: to give off small flashes of light
the diamond sparkled
2
: to do or play very well
sparkled at shortstop
3
: effervesce sense 1
sparkling wine
4
: to become lively or active
the conversation sparkled

sparkle

2 of 2 noun
1
: a little flash of light
2
: the quality of sparkling
3
: the quality or state of being effervescent

More from Merriam-Webster on sparkle

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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