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

Sprinkle in crevices, and for those of you who are building or remodeling, sprinkle inside your walls. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: A drive for school safety," 17 Sep. 2019 The Astros and Red Sox liberally sprinkled starting pitchers throughout their World Series bullpens. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Will the Dodgers replicate closer model the Red Sox and Astros used to beat them?," 14 Sep. 2019 Sopko noted the weather cooperated, with only a couple of minutes of light sprinkles Saturday evening. Graydon Megan, chicagotribune.com, "Rock the Block draws families to Elmhurst for music, food and fun," 9 Sep. 2019 Explore both fine art and country crafts sprinkled amid rest areas with food booths, visit the parish pantry, or enter to win door prizes selected from fair exhibitors. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Septemberfest, Oktoberfest, and more to do around Wisconsin this week," 15 Sep. 2019 This will help distribute the fat more evenly. Pour 1/2 cup of the coconut milk into a medium bowl, and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Amanda Haas shares her signature recipes," 14 Sep. 2019 Built in the 1930s and 1940s by neighboring homeowners, the La Playa Piers start near the Talbot Street entrance to the La Playa Trail overlooking the Shelter Island Yacht basin and are sprinkled along the dirt path that extends to Kellogg Beach. San Diego Union-Tribune, "La Playa Piers: Port commissioners to decide if they should stay or go," 14 Sep. 2019 Gaston likes to sprinkle edible flowers on everything. Kavita Daswani, Los Angeles Times, "This DTLA bodega is hip, healthy and millennial-friendly. The twist? It’s also affordable," 14 Sep. 2019 Recent news that substandard components may be sprinkled across France’s nuclear fleet doesn’t soothe nerves either (or help budgets). Liam Denning And Mark Gongloff, Houston Chronicle, "How old nukes can help Green New Dealers," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The treats are a yellow cake base studded with pink and purple sprinkles, and topped with a vibrant teal icing. Hanna Flanagan, PEOPLE.com, "Hostess Unveils New Halloween Treats With 'S'cream Filling'," 11 Sep. 2019 The Chiefs and Browns (5 votes each) lead the way with sprinkles of $100+ unit wagers, followed by the Patriots (3), Rams (3) and Packers (3). Sportsbookwire Staff, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Super Bowl LIV - NFL Future Bets: Staff picks and best bets," 5 Sep. 2019 Sure, there's something so photogenic about a simple pink glazed donut with rainbow sprinkles. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Move over, Tie Dye Frappucino. These 10 drinks and desserts in metro Phoenix were made for Instagram," 12 July 2019 The cake is six multicolored layers covered with sprinkles. Christian Burno, Dallas News, "The new cake boss? Baker throws color at the dessert world with 'edible piñatas'," 12 July 2019 Toss in a few torn basil leaves at the last minute and serve with crusty bread and a sprinkle of grated pecorino Romano cheese. BostonGlobe.com, "large plum tomatoes (about ¾ pound)," 17 Sep. 2019 The new drink starts with Starbucks Cold Brew sweetened with vanilla syrup and topped with pumpkin cream cold foam and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice. Joey Morona, cleveland.com, "Pumpkin Spice Latte returns to Starbucks, effectively ending summer," 27 Aug. 2019 White Sands Smoothie 1 serving This frothy smoothie of milk and frozen banana blended with coconut, almonds and a sprinkle of nutmeg is based on a favorite from Joni’s in Montauk, Long Island. Ellie Krieger, The Denver Post, "Bring the beach vibes home with a frosty smoothie that tastes like a milkshake," 25 Aug. 2019 Finish each flatbread with Maldon salt and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. National Geographic, "Braised Goat Leg & Shoulder," 2 July 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

10 Oct 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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