trick·​le | \ ˈtri-kəl How to pronounce trickle (audio) \
trickled; trickling\ ˈtri-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce trickle (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



Definition of trickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a thin, slow, or intermittent stream or movement

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Synonyms for trickle

Synonyms: Verb

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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 Set your hose to trickle water into the basin and saturate the soil. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2021 Across the New Orleans metropolitan area, new CDC guidelines had failed to trickle down to many administration sites by Friday morning. Anchorage Daily News, 25 Sep. 2021 Now that vibration is going to trickle down to the lower regions of the FBS. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Sep. 2021 But the official Democratic Party line had yet to trickle down to Alcantar’s childhood and school friends, many of whom have been texting the millennial politician for advice on how to vote. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 25 Aug. 2021 But much of that talent has yet to trickle to Baltimore, where Hyde is responsible for addressing the Orioles’ now-daily losing. Nathan Ruiz,, 25 Aug. 2021 Instead of an extension, the White House is urging states to distribute federal rental relief funds that have been slow to trickle down to those in need and extend the moratorium on a state or local level. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, 3 Aug. 2021 Heartbreak drives some of it, but other parts of life trickle in as well. Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2021 Soe Htay has been told by friends in the pro-democracy movement, who trickle information out of the prisons and during prisoner releases, that his daughter and wife were separated since their sentencing. Paula Hancocks And Salai Tz, CNN, 23 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This sport needs more playoff access, and the trickle-down effect is that most regular-season games will assume more meaning. J. Brady Mccollough Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 26 Sep. 2021 This is a strong, positive signal that will have trickle-down implications on industries, sectors and companies of all sizes. Ian Palmer, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Should Benn play center, there’s a trickle-down effect for the rest of the lineup. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, 22 Sep. 2021 The actress, who has long been advocating for women's rights among other humanitarian causes and visiting Cambodia since 2000, also knows that this work has a trickle-down effect. Hanna Flanagan,, 17 Sep. 2021 The findings are clear: Reproductive freedom and economic freedom go hand in hand, and have trickle-down effects on gender equality and equal pay. Anneken Tappe, CNN, 7 Sep. 2021 And looking further down the road, the rate of increase in the labor force has slowed to a trickle, as has the flow of new immigrants, who have been essential to bolstering the labor force. William A. Galston, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2021 The number of new people getting vaccinated with this vaccine slowed to a trickle. Megan L. Ranney, CNN, 25 Sep. 2021 The complaints about the department that reporters had been so accustomed to hearing slowed to a trickle., 22 Sep. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trickle


Middle English trikelen, of imitative origin

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Learn More About trickle

Time Traveler for trickle

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near trickle



trickle charge

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Statistics for trickle

Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trickle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for trickle



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



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


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.



Kids Definition of trickle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a thin slow stream

More from Merriam-Webster on trickle

Nglish: Translation of trickle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trickle for Arabic Speakers


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