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



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

Other Words from sprinkle


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

Synonyms for sprinkle

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Buy Endo mycorrhizal fungi and sprinkle on roots before transplanting. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 12 May 2022 Despite years of drought and conservation mandates, Californians continue to sprinkle a lot of clean, drinkable water onto yards to keep the greenery alive. Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 Welch and Rawlings strip it down to emphasize their guitars and voices, while Auerbach and Ferguson sprinkle in some atmospheric touches that add to the unrelenting feeling of loss. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, 4 May 2022 Season to taste with salt and lemon juice, and sprinkle with chives. Adina Steiman, WSJ, 4 May 2022 Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 28 Mar. 2022 Place on the trivet and sprinkle spice packet on top. al, 17 Mar. 2022 Pat the pork dry and generously sprinkle both sides with pepper. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2021 Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the lime juice. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There could be an isolated sprinkle or a brief light shower early in the morning with a warm front just to the north and east. courant.com, 16 Oct. 2021 Filmed in Los Angeles, the series has a sprinkle of Detroit-centric details such as the names of Woodward Memorial Hospital (named after a key city thoroughfare) and Jamerson Middle School, a nod to great Motown bass player James Jamerson. Julie Hinds, Freep.com, 18 Mar. 2022 Standouts included how to use craft supplies to make a refreshing frozen yogurt treat and what sweet dessert pairs well with a sprinkle of the grocer's chili lime seasoning. Antonia Debianchi, PEOPLE.com, 14 Apr. 2022 Through Tonight: There could be a sprinkle through evening, and clouds will be numerous through the night. Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2022 Save this story for later. Give them a sprinkle or a soak. Joe Ray, Wired, 16 Jan. 2022 Diamonds are often just a sprinkle, as in their constellation ring ($2,200), which has been purchased more than once as an engagement ring, according to the designers. New York Times, 23 Dec. 2021 The show definitely felt very white, even though there was a light sprinkle of diversity... Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, Glamour, 24 Nov. 2021 This afternoon, clouds will build up and there might be a quick sprinkle over western areas. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of sprinkle


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


1575, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for sprinkle


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

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Time Traveler for sprinkle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sprinkle

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sprinkle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sprinkle. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sprinkle


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



Kids Definition of sprinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a light rain


transitive verb
sprinkled; sprinkling

Legal Definition of sprinkle

: spray

More from Merriam-Webster on sprinkle

Nglish: Translation of sprinkle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sprinkle for Arabic Speakers


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