sprinkle

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

sprinkle

noun

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

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Other Words from sprinkle

Verb

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

Synonyms for sprinkle

Synonyms: Verb

bestrew, dot, pepper, scatter, sow, spot, spray, strew

Synonyms: Noun

drizzle, mist, mizzle

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Remove gratin from oven and sprinkle lemon juice, zest and parsley over top. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Why Mayonnaise is Magic," 9 Nov. 2018 To serve, gently remove wax paper from underneath cake (holding cake in place with a metal spatula, if necessary), and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Susan Selasky, ajc, "5 recipes to cool things down on hot days," 3 July 2018 To serve, gently remove wax paper from underneath cake (holding cake in place with a metal spatula, if necessary), and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "5 recipes to cool things down on hot days," 27 June 2018 Remove from heat and sprinkle with another light coat of Chupacabra seasoning. San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: The Leftovers’ Award-Winning Pork Chops," 6 June 2018 Remove to two dinner plates sprinkle with salt and pepper. Linda Gassenheimer, miamiherald, "Sweet peas a tasty pairing with this fresh sole dish," 3 June 2018 Remove potatoes to a platter, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve at once. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Pork, potatoes, and asparagus done perfectly on the grill," 25 May 2018 Remove foil and parchment; sprinkle the bread pudding with cheese. Sarah Fritsche, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Asparagus & Ham Bread Pudding," 22 Mar. 2018 Remove from oven; sprinkle vegetables with parsley. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables," 17 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That idea inspired us to create a lighter combination using rice-like orzo, peas for color and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. Linda Giuca And Christopher Prosperi, courant.com, "Scampi Recipe Lightens Up With Orzo And Peas," 5 Apr. 2018 Other great additions are a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of simple yogurt sauce, or my favorite weird twist: full-fat cottage cheese with plenty of salt and pepper. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appetit, "You Can Carve Ina Garten's Zucchini Pancakes Recipe Onto My Tombstone," 19 Mar. 2018 Pipe yellow frosting on top and add some yellow sprinkles. Woman's Day, "Tropical Pool Cake," 2 Jan. 2012 View this post on Instagram A post shared by Rainbow Girl (@theofficialrainbowgirl) on Apr 13, 2016 at 8:33pm PDT IMO, America could really use this sprinkle of color on social media because things are looking a little dark. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, ""Unicorn Armpit Hair" Is the Best Beauty Trend of 2019 So Far," 16 Jan. 2019 Give your walnuts a sprinkle of apple pie spice for a warm accent to a fresh and crunchy lunchtime salad. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Pear & Walnut Salad," 21 Dec. 2018 Parfait, a shop in the Ballard neighborhood, pasteurizes its own ice cream base onsite and makes everything from fudge brownies to sprinkles from scratch. Morgan Goldberg, USA TODAY, "The Emerald City's ultimate ice cream trail," 18 June 2018 Thankfully, the kind folks at Clementine were game and donated one vanilla cake with pink frosting and rainbow sprinkles. Mariah Smith, The Cut, "My Very Sponsored Birthday Party: Part I," 7 May 2018 Dewan, secret owner of the elixir of youth, celebrated her birthday at the start of this week by getting her ears pierced with 5-year-old daughter Everly, and with a sprinkle of romance from new boyfriend, Steve Kazee. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Here's Jenna Dewan and Steve Kazee Kissing in a Photo Booth for Her 38th Birthday," 4 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of sprinkle

Verb

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

Noun

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for sprinkle

Verb

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

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Statistics for sprinkle

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sprinkle

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

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More Definitions for sprinkle

sprinkle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sprinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to drop or spread small pieces or amounts of something over something
: to put small drops of liquid on (someone or something)
US : to rain lightly

sprinkle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sprinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a light rain
: a small amount that is sprinkled on something
US : tiny candies that are put on top of a sweet food (such as ice cream)

sprinkle

verb
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

sprinkle

noun

Kids Definition of sprinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a light rain

sprinkle

transitive verb
sprin·​kle
sprinkled; sprinkling

Legal Definition of sprinkle

: spray

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More from Merriam-Webster on sprinkle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sprinkle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sprinkle

Spanish Central: Translation of sprinkle

Nglish: Translation of sprinkle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sprinkle for Arabic Speakers

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