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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[trik-uh l] /ˈtrɪk əl/
verb (used without object), trickled, trickling.
to flow or fall by drops, or in a small, gentle stream:
Tears trickled down her cheeks.
to come, go, or pass bit by bit, slowly, or irregularly:
The guests trickled out of the room.
verb (used with object), trickled, trickling.
to cause to trickle.
a trickling flow or stream.
a small, slow, or irregular quantity of anything coming, going, or proceeding:
a trickle of visitors throughout the day.
Origin of trickle
1325-75; Middle English triklen, trekelen (v.), apparently sandhi variant of strikle, perhaps equivalent to strike (in obsolete sense “flow”) + -le
Related forms
tricklingly, adverb
4. dribble, seepage, drip. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trickling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But as he filtered through the scholarly mind in trickling drops, oh, he was so sweet!

    Birds and Poets John Burroughs
  • Little black streams were trickling down the apron on to the dress.

    Little Prudy Sophie May
  • He uttered no cry and was quite still, with blood streaming from the cuts on his face and trickling from his ears.

  • The basin is still there, and with water in it, trickling over its edge.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • In one man the current of this tendency may be like a trickling stream, and a handful of materials are enough to keep it in check.

    Sunlight Patch Credo Fitch Harris
British Dictionary definitions for trickling


to run or cause to run in thin or slow streams: she trickled the sand through her fingers
(intransitive) to move, go, or pass gradually: the crowd trickled away
a thin, irregular, or slow flow of something
the act of trickling
Derived Forms
trickling, adjective
tricklingly, adverb
trickly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: perhaps of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for trickling



late 14c., possibly a shortened variant of stricklen "to trickle," a frequentative form of striken "to flow, move" (see strike). Related: Trickled; trickling. Trickle-down as an adjectival phrase in an economic sense first recorded 1944; the image had been in use at least since Teddy Roosevelt.


1570s, from trickle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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