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

To zhuzh up your classic go-to’s like bombers, motos, anoraks and denim outerwear, sprinkle in this plaid pattern and faux shearling piece. Niki Mcgloster, Essence, "The Hottest Way To Slay Fall Fashion," 9 Sep. 2019 The nearly two-months-long celebration invites bands from all over the globe to perform at Rhizome, Tropicalia and other local venues, with a few documentary screenings at Mount Pleasant’s Suns Cinema sprinkled into the mix. Washington Post, "15 things to do in the D.C. area this weekend," 5 Sep. 2019 That gets us to 50, with something left to sprinkle in for Dontrell Hilliard or D’Ernest Johnson or Demetrius Harris. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland.com, "How Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens can keep his promise to make his offensive stars happy," 3 Sep. 2019 Anyone who has watched Mindhunter on Netflix knows that the show's first season was sprinkled with a series of perplexing vignettes that seemingly had nothing to do with the plot of the show. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Who Is the BTK Killer? What 'Mindhunter' Doesn’t Tell You About Dennis Rader," 30 Aug. 2019 Alabama has often been able to sprinkle in a gifted true freshman or two in its starting lineup over the years — a Dont’a Hightower here, a C.J. Mosley or a Minkah Fitzpatrick. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "AL.com All-Access: Alabama, Auburn freshmen will have to grow up in a hurry this year," 29 Aug. 2019 It hasn’t been seen often from Roger Federer in recent years, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion has been known to sprinkle in a few dribbles along the baseline before serves. Marc Stein, New York Times, "For These Tennis Pros, (Basket)ball Is Life," 28 Aug. 2019 The land is also sprinkled with spaceships, retired droids and photo ops. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney Star Wars: Getting a grip on Galaxy’s Edge, a primer," 27 Aug. 2019 Ben & Jerry’s, which sprinkles its ice cream with a do-the-right-thing anti-capitalist vibe, found itself scolded by Britain’s advertising regulator this summer for plastering ads for fatty frozen calories around schools in London. The Economist, "Big business is beginning to accept broader social responsibilities," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice powder or a cinnamon stick. Julie Sprankles, USA TODAY, "Pumpkin spice latte recipe: How to make it at home," 5 Sep. 2019 There remains the slightest of chances that those late day clouds may shed a sprinkle or two, but barely enough of a chance to mention. Brian Jackson, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Still splendid on Sunday but warmer and more humid into the workweek," 25 Aug. 2019 One notable example shows a TikTok user melodramatically rushing to wipe some water off their leg after getting sprayed with a lawn sprinkle. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Netflix Wanted to Let TikTok Teens Know That "H2O: Just Add Water" Is Now Available to Stream," 2 Aug. 2019 The announcement spurred widespread backlash, including death threats against the milkshake makers, who said the only ingredients were coconut ice cream, cashew milk and rainbow sprinkles. oregonlive.com, "Police lieutenant ‘firmly believed’ milkshakes thrown during June protest ‘contained some form of concrete’," 22 July 2019 The lovely, deep lavender icing, made sparkly like fish scales with its sprinkles, is studded with a treasure trove of white chocolate goodies, most notably the mermaid’s tail. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney’s mermaid donut: An enchanting “tail”," 22 July 2019 One thing that’s consistent throughout the book is the use of sprinkles. Christian Burno, Dallas News, "The new cake boss? Baker throws color at the dessert world with 'edible piñatas'," 12 July 2019 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

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

12 Sep 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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