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

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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

While the arrival of migrants to Mexico’s southern border appears to have slowed somewhat in recent days with the anticipated arrival of National Guard forces, some continued to trickle in. Washington Post, "Mexico, El Salvador to cooperate on reducing migration," 20 June 2019 Progress has been slow since then, but now the site is back up and running and footballers are starting to trickle through the doors once more. George Ramsay, CNN, "Women's World Cup: Japan's remarkable 2011 Women's World Cup win in the aftermath of disaster," 3 June 2019 Signings will continue to trickle in over the next few weeks, but the majority of high-impact moves are already on the books. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "NFL free agency winners, losers: 49ers, Seahawks headed in opposite directions," 21 Mar. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are 2,165 names on the waitlist in Matamoros, while processing has slowed to a trickle: two people one day, a family the day before, nobody at all the two days before that. Washington Post, "Widow, mother of drowning victims returns to El Salvador," 29 June 2019 The Galápagos was annexed by Ecuador from Spain in 1832, which led to a trickle of settlements and penal colonies. National Geographic, "EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC," 7 June 2019 Particularly since the 2008 recession, the generation of tenure-track jobs has slowed to a trickle. Chloe Watlington, The New Republic, "The Labor Movement’s Newest Warriors: Grad Students," 6 June 2019 As is the case so often with trickle-down claims, the reality has been much different. Chris Lu For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Congress hasn't raised the minimum wage in 3,614 days. It's time to put hard-working Americans first," 16 June 2019 When the car is parked, the charger provides a slow trickle of electricity to keep the battery fully charged. Ray Magliozzi, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trickle chargers from Toyota always stay connected," 16 June 2019 Helium is far from the first to tackle low-power wireless networks for such devices, which require just a trickle of bandwidth. Carolyn Said, SFChronicle.com, "What are Helium founders breathing? A cheaper, longer-range wireless network," 16 June 2019 Enter Maximus Worthington, a money-grubbing real estate tycoon danced by CTT artistic director and lead choreographer Mark Yonally, who promises big profits for DRC by using a trickle-down model. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Tap’s ambitious ‘Saving the World’ is a sassy step into politics," 9 June 2019 Second only to a mere squeeze of fresh lemon, a trickle of extra virgin olive oil may be the simplest sauce. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "The art of finishing sauces for fish," 5 June 2019

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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Statistics for trickle

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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 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

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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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