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

The Age of Intent is fun to read, sprinkled with cautionary tales of A.I. experiments gone awry. Anne Fisher, Fortune, "‘You’re Pretty Stupid.’ What Can Happen to Your Business When A.I. Goes Awry," 10 Aug. 2019 The room in RightWay Ministries church was decorated with Mickey Mouse balloons and a white carpet sprinkled with rose petals leading to his casket. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, "Noah Sneed, 2, who died in hot van, remembered at his funeral as a funny, mischievous boy," 10 Aug. 2019 She and Yongden tossed back hot water sprinkled with tsampa for dinner. Ailsa Ross, Longreads, "Mountains, Transcending," 9 Aug. 2019 The hearty spread consists of slabs of feta cheese sprinkled with tomatoes, accompanied by local staples like falafel and fulmedames, a flavorful fava bean dish. Sarvesh Talreja, National Geographic, "Cairo beyond the pyramids: The ultimate itinerary," 30 July 2019 Named for the hotel where it was invented in Sweden, Hasselbacking is a technique where a vegetable (traditionally potatoes) is partially sliced, accordion style, brushed with butter, sprinkled with bread crumbs, and baked. Washington Post, "Make your stuffed tomatoes next level with this recipe," 29 July 2019 Guests gathered in the patio to sip cooling beverages and nibble on an offering of finger-food ranging from fresh fruits, a selection of cheeses, crisp beautiful veggies including delicious asparagus sprinkled with sesame seeds. Jane Napier Neely, La Cañada Valley Sun, "The Valley Line: Hospital gallery opening and Laguna pageant both picture perfect," 29 July 2019 As described in the following recipe, the phyllo dough is easily cut into thin strips that are arranged into nest-like ring shapes, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and briefly baked. Wolfgang Puck, Twin Cities, "Wolfgang Puck: Lighten up your summer dessert with seasonal stone fruit," 17 July 2019 Accordingly, countless celebrity-chef cookbooks consist of little more than dinner-party recipes sprinkled with pleasantly superficial biography. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Best Cookbooks of the Century So Far," 14 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Need to move that one sprinkle — on a Rainbow Sprinkle Birthday Cake, perhaps — to the perfect position? Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Eight non-culinary tools you can use in the kitchen," 9 Aug. 2019 Spread whipped cream over of the entire cake, add sprinkles as desired and freeze until ready to serve. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Ice cream cake from scratch tastes better and can be customized," 17 July 2019 The tomatoes, along with an abundance of herbs, get gently tossed in the vinaigrette, and a final spoonful of sumac adds a finishing sprinkle of flavor. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Three refreshing salads to beat the heat," 17 July 2019 On a gray day at Comerica Park, complete with accompanying sprinkles throughout, the Detroit Tigers lost badly. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tigers observations: Twins rebuild paying dividends now and into future," 9 June 2019 As spoiled as viewers are to have Oscar-winners such as Witherspoon, Kidman, and Streep sparring on-camera for our enjoyment, to have Dern too feels like sprinkles on a stagecraft sundae. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Family Values of Big Little Lies," 7 June 2019 Most supplements on the market borrow science and add a sprinkle of an ingredient than makes a claim that cannot be supported by research. Lisa Fogarty, Harper's BAZAAR, "Biotin Is in Every Hair Growth Pill. But Does it Even Work?," 22 May 2019 Food & Wine suggests a sprinkle of piment d’Espelette, made from Basque region peppers, atop the aioli. Stephanie Hayes, miamiherald, "Explore aioloi, mayo’s upscale friend | Miami Herald," 26 Feb. 2018 Toppings range from Oreos and pistachios to sprinkles and chocolate sauce. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Put these 10 frozen desserts on your Phoenix summer bucket list," 26 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

15 Aug 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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