trickle

verb
trick·​le | \ ˈtri-kəl How to pronounce trickle (audio) \
trickled; trickling\ ˈtri-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce trickling (audio) \

Definition of trickle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to issue or fall in drops
b : to flow in a thin gentle stream
2a : to move or go one by one or little by little customers began to trickle in
b : to dissipate slowly his enthusiasm trickled away

trickle

noun

Definition of trickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a thin, slow, or intermittent stream or movement

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for trickle

Synonyms: Verb

distill (also distil), dribble, drip, drop

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of trickle in a Sentence

Verb

Tears trickled down her cheeks. Water was trickling out of the gutter. People trickled into the theater. Donations have been trickling in.

Noun

We heard the trickle of water from the roof. The flow of water slowed to a trickle. Sales have slowed to a trickle in recent weeks. A slow trickle of customers came into the store throughout the day.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The process starts with what is basically a cooling tower, where a fan pulls air in through a sort of filter that has a continuous flow of water trickling downward through it. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Machines that suck CO₂ from the air might be cheaper than we thought," 7 June 2018 Despite the dark, imminent spiral for Holiday, the promise of making more music always trickles through. OregonLive.com, "'Lady Day' tells Billie Holiday's story in richly layered, unforgettable show," 4 June 2018 Thankfully though, one of the strongest trends trickling through the sneaker world at the moment is a breeze to incorporate into any wardrobe — and that's pastels. Nastassia Brückin, Teen Vogue, "Pastel Sneakers Are the Summer Trend You'll Want to Wear All Season Long," 25 May 2018 Young men and a few women trickle through the side door of the brick church after getting buzzed in. Shannon Ryan, chicagotribune.com, "A boxing club in the basement of a Little Village church offers neighborhood youths 'other options than the streets'," 25 May 2018 Ash fall occurred nearby, with activity trickling through summer. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "Before Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, these active US volcanoes erupted in recent years," 14 May 2018 But Rinne, who was positioned properly, somehow failed to completely seal the left post with his skate, and Myers’ shot trickled through. Tim Hackett, SI.com, "Jets Crush Predators in Game 7, Move on to Western Conference Finals," 10 May 2018 Clement said lava trickled downhill through a wooded area and began piling up in front of a gate leading to the street. Darran Simon, CNN, "Watch flaming lava consume a Ford Mustang in time-lapse video," 7 May 2018 When the clock hits 7 AM, farmers market goers will arrive, trickling through empty streets before summer’s sun touches nearby rooftops. Adrian White, Good Housekeeping, "Farm Life Isn't Nearly As Idyllic As It Looks On Instagram—But I Still Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything," 11 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s a trickle of vinegar and lemon in lieu of calamansi, but salt is in ascendance. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "A Filipino Specialty Best Paired With a Brew in the East Village," 5 July 2018 The threat of pipes freezing is expected to diminish significantly once temperatures exceed 32 degrees Thursday afternoon, so anyone running a trickle of water can shut off that faucet. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Landrieu, Yenni update boil advisories during hard freezes," 18 Jan. 2018 On the bright side, my period, which had been so hideously long and heavy that I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, dwindled to a trickle that came and went in four uneventful days. Therese Shechter, SELF, "Menopause Was the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me," 13 Mar. 2019 But soon after launch, Google tanked Foundem’s ranking, pushing results far past the first page and slowing usage to a trickle. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The long, tortured quest to make Google unbiased," 6 Dec. 2018 By spring, a trickle of Republicans outside of the White House finally started embracing impeachment messaging. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "Mega-Donor Tom Steyer Is Forcing Democrats to Talk Impeachment. Is It a Losing Strategy?," 25 May 2018 For the British media contemplating a new and unconventional royal bride, a trickle of royal blood is better than none at all. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "New bio: Meghan Markle is a 'social climber' who wants to be 'Princess Diana 2.0'," 2 Apr. 2018 The influx of graduation parties also has a trickle down effect. Dugan Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "You’ve got the diploma and the proud parents. What about that dinner reservation?," 28 May 2018 The trickle of satellite imagery analyses in recent months suggesting continued North Korean missile and nuclear development appears to have done little to dull Mr. Trump’s interest in pursuing dialogue with Mr. Kim. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "North Korea Keeping Up Work on Missile Sites, Report Says," 12 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trickle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of trickle

Verb

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

Noun

1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trickle

Verb

Middle English trikelen, of imitative origin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trickle

Statistics for trickle

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trickle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trickle

trickle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of trickle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to flow or fall in drops
: to move or go slowly in small numbers or amounts

trickle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a slow, thin flow of water
: a slow movement of people or things in small numbers or amounts

trickle

verb
trick·​le | \ ˈtri-kəl How to pronounce trickle (audio) \
trickled; trickling

Kids Definition of trickle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to run or fall in drops
2 : to flow in a thin slow stream
3 : to move slowly or in small numbers Customers trickled in.

trickle

noun

Kids Definition of trickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a thin slow stream

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on trickle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trickle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trickle

Spanish Central: Translation of trickle

Nglish: Translation of trickle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trickle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on trickle

What made you want to look up trickle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!