sprinkle

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
: to scatter in drops or particles
2
a
: 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
sprinkler noun

sprinkle

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act or an instance of sprinkling
especially : a light rain
2
3
sprinkles plural : small particles of candy used as a topping (as on ice cream) : jimmies

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
There are tons of other ways to make your oatmeal more interesting and fiber-full, including mixing in some hearty veggies, sprinkling on some nuts, or topping with frozen berries. Audrey Bruno, SELF, 21 Feb. 2024 Plant a few spicy varieties, or just sprinkle a liberal amount of chili powder around the perimeter as a deterrent. Kate Morgan, Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2024 The episode sprinkled clips of McCallum throughout the hour, while the team still found time to solve a case with which Ducky had been involved: Helping the child of a late Marine seeking to posthumously clear her father’s name. Brian Lowry, CNN, 20 Feb. 2024 Melt white chocolate, swirl in pink candy melts, and sprinkle on Easter candies such as Robin Eggs, Cadbury minis, Easter M&Ms, and more. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 15 Feb. 2024 Bright, floral pink pepper, citrusy hibiscus, rose petals, and more floral spices combine for a seasoning that’s great on salmon or lamb, or sprinkled atop yogurt. Ellen Fort, Saveur, 8 Feb. 2024 The second of her two-picture creative partnership with the streaming platform, Irish Wish is a tale of luck and romance sprinkled with supernatural elements. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 6 Feb. 2024 Toss chicken wings with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. 3. Perri Ormont Blumberg Fox News, Fox News, 10 Feb. 2024 An Oklahoma judge agreed to step down Friday after she was caught sending hundreds of texts from the bench while overseeing a murder trial in the killing of a 2-year-old boy, including messages that mocked prosecutors and were sprinkled with emojis. CBS News, 9 Feb. 2024
Noun
Louisville weather forecast Friday: A chance of sprinkles before 1 p.m., then rain showers likely between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., then rain and snow showers after 5 p.m. High near 45 degrees. The Courier-Journal, 16 Feb. 2024 The iced coffee has vanilla and cream, a sweet cold foam topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 12 Feb. 2024 Decorate them with crushed cookies, sprinkles, or chocolate. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 31 Jan. 2024 Although isolated sprinkles are possible throughout the week, the best next chance for accumulating rain will come Saturday, the National Weather Service said. Robert A. Cronkleton, Kansas City Star, 29 Jan. 2024 But the rainbow magic is found in the glaze and sprinkles, which are usually gold, green, and purple. Michelle Darrisaw, Southern Living, 29 Jan. 2024 There is a 10 to 20% chance of a few sprinkles or light showers possible on Thursday. Robert A. Cronkleton, Kansas City Star, 8 Feb. 2024 This better-for-you version from Nourish columnist Ellie Krieger brings the onion flavor in three forms: sauteed onion and scallion whites for a little sweetness, onion powder for concentrated savoriness, and scallion greens for a sprinkle of freshness and color. Matt Brooks, Washington Post, 6 Feb. 2024 In addition to adding nostalgia and color, the rainbow sprinkles provide perfect bites of crunch throughout the moist cake. Micah A Leal, Southern Living, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sprinkle.' 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 sprenklen, sprinclen; akin to Middle High German spreckel, sprenkel spot

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near sprinkle

Cite this Entry

“Sprinkle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sprinkle. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

sprinkle

1 of 2 verb
sprin·​kle ˈspriŋ-kəl How to pronounce sprinkle (audio)
sprinkled; sprinkling -k(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce sprinkle (audio)
1
: to scatter in drops or particles
sprinkle water
sprinkle grass seed over the soil
2
a
: to scatter over or in or among
sprinkle the spaghetti with grated cheese
b
: to wet lightly
sprinkle clothes before ironing
3
: to rain lightly in scattered drops
sprinkler noun

sprinkle

2 of 2 noun
1
: the act or an instance of sprinkling
especially : a light rain
2

Legal Definition

sprinkle

transitive verb
sprin·​kle
sprinkled; sprinkling
: spray

More from Merriam-Webster on sprinkle

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