twinkle

verb
twin·kle | \ˈtwiŋ-kəl \
twinkled; twinkling\ˈtwiŋ-k(ə-)liŋ \

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

twinkle

noun

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

Verb

twinkler \ˈtwiŋ-k(ə-)lər \ noun

Noun

twinkly \ˈtwiŋ-k(ə-)lē \ 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

James, the undeniable star of a Finals that doesn't lack for twinkling athletes, announced his arrival at Game 1 by wearing a sharp gray suit with matching shorts. Jerry Brewer, chicagotribune.com, "LeBron James can't save the Cavaliers from stupid," 1 June 2018 The location of the nighttime overlook scene is particularly difficult to identify due to the fact that the only identifying markers are the twinkling city lights below and a driveway that leads out of the parking lot. Jared Cowan, Los Angeles Magazine, "Every L.A. Filming Location From Grease, 40 Years Later," 15 June 2018 The game-breaking moment of magic though, came not from Messi’s twinkling toes but from Croatia’s fearless Ante Rabic, who capitalized on a mistake to deliver a 53rd minute volley of impeccable sweetness. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Messi's misery evident as Argentina suffers devastating 3-0 loss to Croatia at World Cup," 21 June 2018 Bright lights lead him home, his yard twinkling already with glittering snowflakes, gleaming icicles, hundreds of fireflies of light perched in every holly bush and tree branch. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award finalist: "Nothing Less Than 20,000 Watts" by Susan Finch," 2 June 2018 After dinner the group repaired to the back of the house, wineglasses in hand, a panorama of lights twinkling in the background. Bryan Smith, Los Angeles Magazine, "How Lisa Bloom Bounced Back From Defending Harvey Weinstein," 8 June 2018 Fragrant hybrid tea, floribunda, climbing and miniature roses in every conceivable shade, live music and twinkling lights combine to create a magical setting. Nicole Miller-coleman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Expect beauty, serenity and a touch of magic at Night of the Luminaries," 17 June 2018 My grandmother had one of those Venice scenes on her wall, the kind with a light inside that twinkled. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "'Solo' cinematographer finds light in the darkness," 24 May 2018 Last Monday, in a flash of red mesh and twinkling crystals, U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu landed a historic triple axel, becoming the first American woman to do so at the Olympics. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "The Perpetual Foreigners," 19 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Just look to these nine stars as metallic makeup inspiration, from shimmering sapphire, dusky bronze, and every twinkle and glimmer in between. Hannah Morrill, Allure, "9 Metallic Makeup Looks You’ll Want to Try Now," 23 Feb. 2018 Those yellow jersey gleam as brightly as ever but in a modern age, Brazil's soccer has lost some of its twinkle. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Brazil is no longer the class of world soccer," 6 July 2018 The walls are wrapped in a lacquered strié that's as shiny as nail polish; the ceiling, chandelier, and table are silver-leaf; and the big Venetian mirror above the console reflects the chandelier, doubling its twinkle. Barbara King, House Beautiful, "Celerie Kemble and Caroline Irvin on Dressing Up a Classic Apartment," 27 Jan. 2015 And winsome twinkles shine through the blackness throughout, thanks in no small part to Offutt’s keen ear and eye. New York Times, "A Novel of Kentucky Noir, So Humane It’s Bathed in Light," 23 May 2018 So this Oscar Sunday, as winners ascend the sparkling stage, take note; though the twinkle in their eyes may not be Swarovski, just about everything else around them will be. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "From Moulin Rouge! to the Oscars: The Long History of Swarovski in Hollywood," 2 Mar. 2018 Box hedges in planters are focal points and a nighttime fantasy ambiance is achieved by candles on the tables and twinkle lights entwined along the trees. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs and NWI: Don Quijote Restaurante in Valparaiso," 5 July 2018 Still, the surprise of dropping out of an airplane against a backdrop of flak and northern lights was a twinkle of promise — a sign that Battlefield is at a turning point. T.c. Sottek, The Verge, "After 16 years of war, Battlefield V is a turning point," 29 June 2018 His eyes have a perpetual twinkle about them, as if God plucked two stars from the sky and gave them the distinct honor of starring in a long-running USA network series. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "I Simply Love Tony Shalhoub," 19 June 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for twinkle

Verb

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

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Statistics for twinkle

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for twinkle

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

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More Definitions for twinkle

twinkle

verb
twin·kle | \ˈtwiŋ-kəl \
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

twinkle

noun

Kids Definition of twinkle (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : a very short time

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