twin·​kle | \ ˈtwiŋ-kəl How to pronounce twinkle (audio) \
twinkled; twinkling\ ˈtwiŋ-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce twinkle (audio) \

Definition of twinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to shine with a flickering or sparkling light : scintillate
2a : to appear bright especially with merriment his eyes twinkled
b : to flutter the eyelids
3 : to flutter or flit rapidly

transitive verb

1 : to cause to shine with fluctuating light
2 : to flicker or flirt rapidly twinkled the straight, red-lacquered toes— Glenway Wescott



Definition of twinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an intermittent radiance : flicker, sparkle
2 : a rapid flashing motion : flit
3 : a wink of the eyelids
4 : the instant's duration of a wink : twinkling

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Other Words from twinkle


twinkler \ ˈtwiŋ-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce twinkle (audio) \ noun


twinkly \ ˈtwiŋ-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce twinkle (audio) \ adjective

Examples of twinkle in a Sentence

Verb The lights of the city twinkled in the distance. Stars twinkle in the night sky. Her eyes twinkled with excitement. Noun We saw the twinkle of a candle in the window. in just a twinkle, the shooting star was gone
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For the second renovation, the master bathroom was converted into a luxury spa with Cambria quartz surfaces that twinkle at night. Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, "'Magical' $2.575 million Deephaven house offers privacy, nature views," 19 Feb. 2021 In the video, Chuklansev wears blue scrubs while Christmas lights twinkle behind her. NBC News, "'Patients are dying like flies': California nurse urging Covid safety goes viral on TikTok," 29 Dec. 2020 Unlike stars, which twinkle, both planets will hold consistent brightness, easy to find on clear nights. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn captured in stunning photos from around the world," 22 Dec. 2020 Nearby, a gaggle of animatronic clowns smile maniacally while holding chain saws; lush feather boas cascade down shelves like ivy; and the aisles twinkle with constellations of accessories covered in rhinestones and glitter. Julyssa Lopez, Vogue, "Rosalía on Ambition, Writing her New Album, and Embracing Extremes," 15 Dec. 2020 The lights will twinkle every night throughout the holiday season and will include some new designs. Alison Stanton, The Arizona Republic, "Best Christmas lights in Phoenix: Drive-through and walk-through options Valley-wide," 27 Nov. 2020 Above her mask, Viard’s eyes twinkle with delight at the thought. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Virginie Viard, the Woman Behind Chanel’s New Chapter," 24 Nov. 2020 Four million lights twinkle along a 2-mile path at this drive-through holiday attraction, which will offer new displays in shapes of all kinds. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "The top places to see Christmas lights and other holiday displays in Dallas-Fort Worth," 19 Nov. 2020 At Orlando’s Leu Gardens, visitors will take a three-quarters-mile walk through interactive installations, including sculptures and immersive displays, that twinkle with the cheer of a million lights. Matthew J. Palm,, "Orlando Arts Season Preview 2020-21: Festivals & Fun," 22 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Threading sprigs throughout the boughs of the tree, the flowers echo white twinkle lights and are a sort of botanical snow. Sunset Magazine, "Christmas in the Desert," 16 Dec. 2020 To maintain a lifelike effect, the cables are of varying thicknesses and some even twinkle. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Rolls-Royce's new Ghost: Still plenty posh, but more laid back," 1 Dec. 2020 Threading sprigs throughout the boughs of the tree, the flowers echo white twinkle lights and are a sort of botanical snow. Sunset Magazine, "Christmas in the Desert," 16 Dec. 2020 Threading sprigs throughout the boughs of the tree, the flowers echo white twinkle lights and are a sort of botanical snow. Sunset Magazine, "Christmas in the Desert," 16 Dec. 2020 These connectible lights include eight modes (combo, waves, sequential, slo-glo, chasing, slow fade, twinkle and steady) and can be put on a timer. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "24 Christmas lights to illuminate your home for the holidays," 1 Dec. 2020 At the same time the first vaccine recipients are getting a twinkle of hope, our death rates continue to rise. Georgia Garvey,, "Column: On the longest night of the year, let’s huddle together for warmth," 21 Dec. 2020 As part of its Holiday Savings Event, the award-winning community also is hosting a drive-thru experience featuring thousands of twinkle lights along Meridiana Parkway performing nightly to the sounds of the season. Chron, "Buyers can save on 2021 HOA dues with Meridiana Holiday Savings Event," 19 Dec. 2020 Everyone is surrounded by soft twinkle-lights, and no one appears to be hiding a forty of malt liquor out of frame. Zoe Si, The New Yorker, "Some 2020 “Feel Good” Holiday Movies," 16 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'twinkle.' 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 twinkle


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for twinkle


Middle English, from Old English twinclian; akin to Middle High German zwinken to blink

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Time Traveler for twinkle

Time Traveler

The first known use of twinkle was before the 12th century

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Statistics for twinkle

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Twinkle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for twinkle



English Language Learners Definition of twinkle

: to shine with an unsteady light : to produce small flashes of light
of the eyes : to have a friendly or happy expression


twin·​kle | \ ˈtwiŋ-kəl How to pronounce twinkle (audio) \
twinkled; twinkling

Kids Definition of twinkle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to shine or cause to shine with a flickering or sparkling light Stars twinkle in the sky.
2 : to appear bright with amusement His eyes twinkled at the joke.
3 : to move or flutter rapidly



Kids Definition of twinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : a very short time

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Comments on twinkle

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