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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Every bedroom and the living areas offer endless ocean views, while some also capture elevated views to the east where lights twinkle in the night sky. Brenda Richardson, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 The points seemed to twinkle as the starlike image slowly enlarged. New York Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Some of their eyes twinkle as certain questions activate dormant memories. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Mar. 2022 Is there a more striking illustration of this trend than the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, encased in a mantle of shiny aluminum fins that sparkle and twinkle like so many vertical sequins? Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, 26 Jan. 2022 The hotel’s rooftop restaurant enjoys one of the most spectacular vistas in the city, with the San Jacinto mountains providing a dramatic backdrop to the west while the city lights twinkle below. Leslie Kelly, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 The pool area and hammam have ceiling lights that twinkle like stars. E.b. Solomont, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 Head over to Fun Town, where the Holiday Light Show features a 30-foot tree decorated with 400 Lego ornaments that twinkle to holiday tunes through Jan. 2. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2021 Scroll through to find creative ideas, featuring everything from mason jars to twinkle lights. Michelle Profis, Country Living, 12 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While fairy lights don't provide tons of brightness, though, these do boast eight different lighting modes, including twinkle and flashing. Hannah Jones, Country Living, 28 Apr. 2022 Zero sacks for sack-meister Chris Jones, Burrow not needing to flash his twinkle-toes much. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 1 Feb. 2022 There is a swing in his step, a twinkle in his eye. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2022 In the 1920s, which obviously is decades before a fish sticks were even a twinkle in Gorton’s eye, the Italian government put in an order with Gorton’s for $1 million worth of salt cod. Quartz Staff, Quartz, 28 Feb. 2022 Budwesier has been putting horses, specifically Clydesdales, in their Super Bowl commercials since the kids from Euphoria were a twinkle in their parent’s eyes. Rob Ledonne, Rolling Stone, 10 Feb. 2022 Before Batman was a twinkle in Bob Kane's eye, there was Zorro, a masked vigilante with panache and a penchant for dramatic capes. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 14 Dec. 2021 Keith Richards, interviewed in the film, testifies, with a twinkle of admiration, to that quality in Crow. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 12 Mar. 2022 Outside the office building where Mr. Omar tries to craft policy for a region that has political autonomy but is not recognized by any government, the lights of the Turkish city of Nusaibeen twinkle across a high wall a few hundred yards away. New York Times, 7 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Twinkle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for twinkle


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

More from Merriam-Webster on twinkle

Nglish: Translation of twinkle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of twinkle for Arabic Speakers


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