trickle

verb
trick·​le | \ˈtri-kəl \
trickled; trickling\ˈtri-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

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

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Synonyms for trickle

Synonyms: Verb

distill (also distil), dribble, drip, drop

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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

With blood trickling down his back, Mr. Gardiner took over the radio duties to provide cover for his troops. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Robert Gardiner, Wall Street Giant, Helped Sears With ‘Socks and Stocks’ Strategy," 16 Nov. 2018 More than a dash of smartwatch After focusing on smartwatches for the past year or so, Fitbit decided to trickle down some features from its Ionic and Versa devices to the Charge 3. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Fitbit returns to its roots with new $150 Charge 3 fitness tracker," 20 Aug. 2018 After her death Marteau became the villa’s principal caretaker, looking after its subtle squalor and telling its story to the few who trickled in. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Tragic, Fascinating History of Santo Sospir," 13 Aug. 2018 And contrary to ‘trickle down’ claims that huge tax cuts will benefit the employees of these pharmaceutical giants, evidence so far shows the companies are sharing relatively little with their workers. Lev Facher, STAT, "A new messaging tactic on the left: Drug prices rise, as pharma prospers from tax law," 9 July 2018 The seconds trickled by as Elliott scanned the crowd. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "‘I’d fly anywhere to meet them’: Sisters unite with half-sister at KCI," 22 June 2018 Like those in other artistic practices, photography trends tend to trickle down from the avant-garde. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Why are CEO photos so weird?," 2 Nov. 2018 The enthusiasm surrounding the Senate race in Texas could trickle down to congressional races, which may boost voter turnout in the Lone Star state and fuel momentum for both parties, political experts say. Madeleine Rivera, Fox News, "Texas Senate race between Cruz, O'Rourke generating excitement, boosting congressional races," 28 Sep. 2018 Even so, that knowledge took even more time to trickle down to the more frivolous pursuit of making a faster racing car. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "How a day driving high-downforce cars at VIR taught me I’m OK being slow," 11 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The flood of fiscal stimulus from the Republican tax cut bill is about to slow to a trickle. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The economic boost from the Republican tax cuts is probably about to run out," 3 Dec. 2018 Since President Donald Trump ordered changes to the resettlement program, the number of newcomers reduced to a trickle compared to recent years’ arrivals. Kate Morrissey, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Halfway through fiscal year, refugee arrivals well below 45,000 target," 23 Apr. 2018 Since then, the pace of IS attacks in Sinai's main theater has slowed to a trickle. Brian Rohan, Fox News, "Egypt arming Sinai tribesmen in fight against Islamic State," 27 Sep. 2018 Tourists flock to the Bahamas from spring to mid-summer, when island activity slows to a trickle thanks to the impending hurricane season. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Vacation Like the Royal Family in the Bahamas," 30 Aug. 2018 The deluge of water created by snowmelt and spring rain makes for gushing cascades, torrents of tumbling whitewater in some places that will slow to a trickle later in the summer. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "12 Wisconsin waterfalls to explore in the spring," 26 Apr. 2018 This is the story of black America — underappreciated and perpetually experiencing trickle-down citizenship wherein progress only reaches us if the nation’s cup runneth over. Theodore R. Johnson, Time, "America Is Losing the Real Meaning of Black History Month," 16 Feb. 2018 Barry was as trickle-down as any guy, but what did the building of Buckhead condos have to do with her lot in life? Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "The Luck of Kokura," 18 June 2018 As darkness set in, the line of people crossing into the United States dropped to a trickle, and the children began to fall asleep. Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, "Sleeping on America’s Doorstep: A Dispatch From the Border," 25 June 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.

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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

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Learn More about trickle

Statistics for trickle

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trickle

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

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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 \
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

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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

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