English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English sprenkelen, sprynklen, from Middle Dutch sprenkelen, equivalent to sprink +‎ -le (frequentative suffix). Cognate with Dutch sprenkelen (to sprinkle), German Low German sprenkeln (to sprinkle; dapple), German sprenkeln (to sprinkle).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈspɹɪŋkəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋkəl

Verb edit

sprinkle (third-person singular simple present sprinkles, present participle sprinkling, simple past and past participle sprinkled)

  1. (transitive) To cause (a substance) to fall in fine drops (for a liquid substance) or small pieces (for a solid substance).
    The confectioner sprinkled icing sugar over the cakes.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Leviticus 14:16:
      And the priest shall [] sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the Lord.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter II, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC:
      At twilight in the summer [] the mice come out. They [] eat the luncheon crumbs. Mr. Checkly, for instance, always brought his dinner in a paper parcel in his coat-tail pocket, and ate it when so disposed, sprinkling crumbs lavishly [] on the floor.
  2. (transitive) To cover (an object) by sprinkling a substance on to it.
    The confectioner sprinkled the cakes with icing sugar.
    • 2005, Justus Roux, Who's Your Daddy?, page 66:
      Most of the passengers watched from the enclosed promenade deck, but Sandra found her way to the higher, open promenade where she shivered and watched the city lights fade and the stars sprinkle themselves across a dark blue velvet sky.
  3. (intransitive) To drip in fine drops, sometimes sporadically.
    It sprinkled outside all day long.
  4. (intransitive) To rain very lightly outside.
    It sprinkled very early in the morning.
  5. (transitive) To baptize by the application of a few drops, or a small quantity, of water; hence, to cleanse; to purify.

Quotations edit

  • 1893, Edward F. Bigelow (editor and publisher), The Observer: a Medium of Interchange of Observations for all Students and Lovers of Nature, volume IV, number 4, page 114:
    There is no more beautiful object in the still and shady aisles of the wood than a great patch of the deep green hairy cap moss studded and starred by these little roses that are often scattered over it as thickly as the stars sprinkle the sky.
  • April 26th, 1899, Memorial Day Oration of General P. McGlashan, printed in 1902 in Addresses delivered before the Confederate Veterans Association of Savannah by that association:
    As I laid him back on the litter he threw out his arms and clasped me around my neck, drew me towards him and kissed me, saying: "Colonel, I love you." [...] Unnumbered instances like this might be recounted did the time permit it. They sprinkle the whole four years as the stars sprinkle the sky.
  • 2010, Donald E. MacKay, Love Is Stronger Than Death, page 91:
    [...] she will remember his words and gaze at the stars. One dark night when the stars sprinkle the heavens, she would call out to the stars and ask the same questions her benefactor had asked; perhaps she will be favored with answers.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun edit

sprinkle (plural sprinkles)

  1. A light covering with a sprinkled substance.
    He decorated the Christmas card with a sprinkle of glitter.
    • 1979 December 1, Ellen Brook Davis, “David Brill — In Memoriam”, in Gay Community News, volume 7, number 19, page 5:
      My memory leaves me with a constant and deep burning, my eyes stinging and red from short sprinkles of tears which have been sneaking up on me for days now.
  2. A light rain shower.
  3. An aspersorium or utensil for sprinkling.
  4. A small hard piece of sugar and starch, or chocolate, used to decorate cakes etc.

Synonyms edit

  • (light covering with a sprinkled substance): sprinkling

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Anagrams edit