sprinkle

verb
sprin·​kle | \ˈspriŋ-kəl \
sprinkled; sprinkling\ˈspriŋ-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \ noun

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

These clothes—especially her womenswear, which was sprinkled amongst menswear merch—expressed that. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "New Wave Rave: 032c Shows Its First Womenswear in London," 26 Nov. 2018 Rub it into the breasts and thighs, sprinkle some inside and let the turkey sit in the refrigerator for a few days. Kim Severson, The Seattle Times, "The rise and fall of turkey brining — and here’s one chef’s new recipe," 20 Nov. 2018 There are now more than 129 million dead trees in California sprinkled through forests like the one in Paradise, ready to burn like matchsticks. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The Paradise fire is catastrophic. And the wildfire threat to California is only growing.," 17 Nov. 2018 And this is the network sprinkled little propaganda before the midterms. Fox News, "Coons: Kavanaugh hearing should be paused for investigation," 27 Sep. 2018 Why this matters: Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be the new watchword at companies like Google, Microsoft and others: sprinkle a little AI on a feature, and watch its engagement grow. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Google's new search features tap AI to make your Android phone and PC even smarter," 24 Sep. 2018 Apply glitter over glue dots for a more precise design, or sprinkle glitter on top and shake off excess. Sarah Newell, Seventeen, "11 Ridiculously Awesome DIY Gifts for Your BFFs," 12 Sep. 2018 Today, marketing surveys show that 60 percent of all prices end in a 9; 30 percent end in a 5, and only 7 percent end in a 0, which a few prices ending in 4 and 7 sprinkled in. Adam Snitzer, miamiherald, "Why 9 is my favorite number," 12 July 2018 But Beguelin liberally sprinkles the script with puns and goofy running jokes, not all of which land on the funny bone. Terry Byrne, BostonGlobe.com, "Magic and much more from a dazzling ‘Aladdin’," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In between scoops of frozen dessert, visitors entertain themselves by jumping in a pool of sprinkles, taking selfies with a giant gummy bear and writing ephemeral messages on a wall blanketed in letter magnets. Laura Feasey, WSJ, "5 Mood-Lifting Museums," 11 Oct. 2018 Straight from the bowl, the frosting is soft and billowy, the right texture to spread across the top of the cake in swirls and waves, the right consistency to capture and hold onto sprinkles, crushed cocoa nibs, toasted nuts or tiny candies. Dorie Greenspan, New York Times, "The Double-Layer Chocolate Cake I Make for My Son’s Birthday," 9 May 2018 Ladle the chili directly into each camper’s bowl, topping with a dollop of the yogurt and a sprinkle of parsley. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "3 Easy Summer Campfire Recipes Your Entire Family Will Enjoy," 22 June 2018 That leftover corn? Anoint each muffin with corn and a sprinkle of flaky salt. Jesse Sparks, Bon Appetit, "These Extra-Corny Cornbread Muffins Are No Joke," 21 June 2018 The rain that fell in the Valley was little more than a few passing sprinkles in areas. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Phoenix area gets first rainfall since March," 15 June 2018 The ice cream parlor created a special flavor for the occasion: Floatin' Over the High Line, a sweet combustion of root beer ice cream, mini-marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "Take a walk on New York's High Line from end-to-end," 2 July 2018 Try a sprinkle-coated or dipped cone, or a scoop of ice cream decorated with a cheerful candy face. Annie Zaleski, Cincinnati.com, "See Cincinnati with fresh eyes and visit these 7 postcard-worthy sites," 29 June 2018 Instead of that in-your-face, pink-and-purple swirled Unicorn, Crystal Ball is mostly a soft white color, with few streaks of turquoise and topped with some vibrant, multicolored candy sprinkles. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino has a new, far-out little sis. It's a creamy Bohemian dream.," 20 Mar. 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

5 Dec 2018

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)

: 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

sprinkles : tiny candies that are put on top of a sweet food (such as ice cream)

sprinkle

verb
sprin·​kle | \ˈspriŋ-kəl \
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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