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



Definition of trickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a thin, slow, or intermittent stream or movement

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Synonyms for trickle

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As data starts to trickle in, others have also found similar results. Dyana Mason, The Conversation, "National survey shows that social service nonprofits are trying to help more people on smaller budgets as the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn unfold," 19 June 2020 And even when Casa Pernoi launches and diners slowly begin to trickle back in, DelSignore said the curbside carryout service will remain a fixture. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Super high-end Birmingham restaurant Pernoi rebrands as casual Italian joint," 12 June 2020 Then, the trickle-down effect started with some travel teams pulling out. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood cancels summer youth baseball and softball seasons," 10 June 2020 While the company makes money through ads on each chapter's site and on the main page, the revenue doesn't trickle down to the individual level. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "College life will never be the same. This media company is documenting the change," 9 June 2020 There are hundreds of people at the courthouse and more continue to trickle in. Richard Marini,, "Timeline: Nirenberg handed 'list of demands' on sixth day of S.A. protests," 4 June 2020 Due to the remote nature of the incident, news of the disaster was slow to trickle out and reach Moscow. NBC News, "Russia launches major clean-up operation after huge Arctic fuel spill," 4 June 2020 Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and then results will start to trickle in. Mark Niesse, ajc, "Georgia’s primary: How to vote in an unprecedented election," 3 June 2020 Not enough to survive Even as some funds trickle in from the freighters, carriers are focused on cutting costs. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Cargo rescues Indian airlines as humans remain hesitant to fly during a pandemic," 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The coronavirus pandemic had already slowed the issuing of H-1B visas to a trickle this year, since the U.S. state department suspended all routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments globally since March. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Who will be hardest hit by Trump’s suspension of foreign worker visas?," 23 June 2020 But there was only a trickle of travelers at Madrid-Barajas Airport, which on a normal June day would be bustling. Josephy Wilson And Jamey Keaten, The Christian Science Monitor, "WHO reports biggest one-day surge of coronavirus cases worldwide," 21 June 2020 But there was only a trickle of travelers at Madrid-Barajas Airport, which on a normal June day would be bustling. NBC News, "WHO reports largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases," 21 June 2020 The Arizona Republic reported in May that the state's rental assistance program was giving out money at a trickle and narrow requirements were excluding people in need. Rebekah L. Sanders, azcentral, "Arizona loosens rules so more renters hurt by COVID-19 should qualify for financial help," 16 June 2020 Then Tyson hired a private company to take over testing, and the information suddenly slowed to a trickle. Michael Grabell, ProPublica, "Emails Reveal Chaos as Meatpacking Companies Fought Health Agencies Over COVID-19 Outbreaks in Their Plants," 12 June 2020 In just the last week, a long-running trickle of dissent that resulted in little more than occasional vandalism has turned into a torrent, with statues of Leopold defaced in a half-dozen cities. Washington Post, "As protests grow, Belgium faces its racist colonial past," 11 June 2020 In Alaska, where new case reports had slowed to a trickle in May, the number is among the state’s worst since the start of the pandemic., "Coronavirus hospitalizations rise sharply in several states following Memorial Day," 10 June 2020 The coronavirus lockdown has frozen Manhattan’s luxury real-estate market, with the volume of deals slowing to a trickle over the past three months. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Two Major Deals Offer Hope For Manhattan’s Stalled Luxury Condo Market," 9 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of trickle


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


1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trickle


Middle English trikelen, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for trickle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for trickle

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trickle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for trickle


How to pronounce trickle (audio)

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



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


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.



Kids Definition of trickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a thin slow stream

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More from Merriam-Webster on trickle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trickle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trickle

Spanish Central: Translation of trickle

Nglish: Translation of trickle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trickle for Arabic Speakers

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