sprin·​kle | \ ˈspriŋ-kəl How to pronounce sprinkle (audio) \
sprinkled; sprinkling\ ˈspriŋ-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce sprinkle (audio) \

Definition of sprinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to scatter in drops or particles
2a : to scatter over
b : to scatter at intervals in or among : dot sprinkled the speech with quips
c : to wet lightly

intransitive verb

1 : to scatter a liquid in fine drops
2 : to rain lightly in scattered drops



Definition of sprinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of sprinkling especially : a light rain
3 sprinkles plural : small particles of candy used as a topping (as on ice cream) : jimmies

Other Words from sprinkle


sprinkler \ ˈspriŋ-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce sprinkle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for sprinkle

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of sprinkle in a Sentence

Verb He sprinkled water on the plants. I sprinkled grass seed over the soil. She sprinkled the clothes before ironing them. “Is it raining?” “It's just sprinkling a little.” Noun It rained last night, but it was just a sprinkle. She topped the pasta with a sprinkle of parsley. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So if the jokes keep coming, take them with a grain of salt … and sprinkle it onto your chicken nuggets at the kids’ table. Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Sep. 2022 Place on a platter, and sprinkle evenly with additional Parmesan, oregano and salt. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 31 July 2022 Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with the flour, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 4 Feb. 2022 Place the mushrooms onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle each with a little Parmesan cheese. Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2021 Spread the top with toasted almonds and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. BostonGlobe.com, 9 Nov. 2021 Spread the avocado on one piece of toast, sprinkle with the juice of the lemon and season well with salt and pepper. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 6 May 2021 Spread tortillas with mustards and sprinkle with cornichons. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, 31 Mar. 2020 Grip it with both hands and use the long (and detachable) rotating spout to either sprinkle water on your plant babies, or do column watering. Mariah Thomas, Good Housekeeping, 24 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Serve it straight from the oven with a sprinkle of chopped tomatoes. Sheena Chihak, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Sep. 2022 Spoon the sauce over the fritters, top with a sprinkle of the flaky salt and serve warm. Will Coleman, Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2022 Add a sprinkle of fresh chives before setting them out on your Easter buffet. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Aug. 2022 If the salad is dull, add a sprinkle of salt and some lemon juice and toss. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Aug. 2022 And a sprinkle of defensive letdowns — with costly results. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 9 May 2022 An afternoon sprinkle or quick shower is also possible. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 Best served with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar and fruit, in this case sauteed apples. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 15 Aug. 2022 Portland will start the day cool and cloudy Thursday and even have a slight chance of a sprinkle or two, especially north of the city. oregonlive, 4 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sprinkle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sprinkle


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1575, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for sprinkle


Middle English sprenklen, sprinclen; akin to Middle High German spreckel, sprenkel spot

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Time Traveler for sprinkle

Time Traveler

The first known use of sprinkle was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sprinkle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sprinkle. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for sprinkle


sprin·​kle | \ ˈspriŋ-kəl How to pronounce sprinkle (audio) \
sprinkled; sprinkling

Kids Definition of sprinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to scatter in drops or particles sprinkle water sprinkle sand
2 : to scatter over or in or among Sprinkle the corn with salt.
3 : to rain lightly

Other Words from sprinkle

sprinkler \ -​klər \ noun



Kids Definition of sprinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a light rain


transitive verb
sprinkled; sprinkling

Legal Definition of sprinkle

: spray

More from Merriam-Webster on sprinkle

Nglish: Translation of sprinkle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sprinkle for Arabic Speakers


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