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

For her photo shoot, Rihanna wears a number of intricate beauty looks, including white eyelashes, eyelashes sprinkled with glitter, and a glossy, nude lip. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna Wore Unreleased Fenty Beauty Product on the "Harper’s Bazaar" May Cover," 17 Apr. 2019 The DonorsChoose money is among several such items sprinkled throughout the 2018-19 budget. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "Charity refuses to pass NC taxpayer money to schools in one senator's district," 30 May 2018 Richard said about 40 family members and close friends will be at Friday’s game, some in the UConn family section, some in suites, others sprinkled throughout Nationwide Arena. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Kia Nurse's Tough Touch: UConn Guard The Adult In The Room," 30 Mar. 2018 What about the many corporations sprinkled throughout these areas, which you Bay Area startups have yet to win as customers? Roy Bahat, Recode, "What this Silicon Valley VC learned on the ‘Rust Belt Safari’," 30 Mar. 2018 Volkswagen has been sprinkling the sporty R-Line trim throughout its lineup, and now the brand has announced that the Arteon will be available with its special R sauce as well. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, "R You Surprised? Volkswagen Arteon Will Offer R-Line Trim," 20 Mar. 2018 The Princess Luna Black mask has a midnight black base with silver holographic stars sprinkles throughout. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "These My Little Pony Face Masks Are Worth a Trip to Sephora," 16 Mar. 2018 There were three super-long tables lined with flowers and full centerpieces, plus fairy lights and olive trees sprinkled throughout. Ryan Ray, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Bride Found Her Gown One Month Before Her Absolutely Stunning Vineyard Wedding," 2 Apr. 2019 Dolla’s collaborative appeal lies partly in his ability to sense what the lead artist is missing—or what his fellow featured artists won’t bring—and sprinkle that element throughout the song liberally. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Ty Dolla $ign Isn’t Just a Feature Artist, He’s a Star," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The rolled ice cream can be mixed with candy, cookies, fruit, nuts, berries and sprinkles. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, AL.com, "14 great places to get ice cream in Alabama this winter (and why you should)," 30 Jan. 2018 This method produces softer, pillowy gnocchi that are equally delicious with a fancy sauce or a simple sprinkle of cheese and pepper. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make Your Own Version of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi," 9 Apr. 2019 Top with pickled cucumbers, remaining pine nuts, fresh mint leaves and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. Eleanore Park, WSJ, "How to Eat to Beat the Heat, Korean Style," 8 Aug. 2018 While some light sprinkles fell in Phoenix in June, the airport has not recorded measurable rain for 115 days — the 11th-longest dry streak on record in Phoenix, Sawtelle said. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "It's going to get hot in Phoenix, but that might bring in weekend rain," 4 July 2018 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

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

9 May 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

Comments on sprinkle

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