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twinkle

[twing-kuh l]
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verb (used without object), twin·kled, twin·kling.
  1. to shine with a flickering gleam of light, as a star or distant light.
  2. to sparkle in the light: The diamond on her finger twinkled in the firelight.
  3. (of the eyes) to be bright with amusement, pleasure, etc.
  4. to move flutteringly and quickly, as flashes of light; flit.
  5. Archaic. to wink; blink.
verb (used with object), twin·kled, twin·kling.
  1. to emit (light) in intermittent gleams or flashes.
  2. Archaic. to wink (the eyes or eyelids).
noun
  1. a flickering or intermittent brightness or light.
  2. a scintillating brightness in the eyes; sparkle.
  3. the time required for a wink; a twinkling.
  4. Archaic. a wink.

Origin of twinkle

before 900; Middle English twinklen (v.), Old English twinclian; see twink, -le
Related formstwin·kler, nounun·twin·kled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for twinkle

Historical Examples

  • Twinkle was amazed, but could find no words to contradict this astonishing idea.

    Policeman Bluejay

    L. Frank Baum

  • Twinkle and Chubbins followed, one sitting in front of their guide and one behind him.

    Policeman Bluejay

    L. Frank Baum

  • With these words he darted toward the tree, and Twinkle and Chubbins followed.

    Policeman Bluejay

    L. Frank Baum

  • "I'm naughty sometimes, and so is Chubbins," said Twinkle, honestly.

    Policeman Bluejay

    L. Frank Baum

  • "It is very kind of you to remember our wish," said Twinkle.

    Policeman Bluejay

    L. Frank Baum


British Dictionary definitions for twinkle

twinkle

verb (mainly intr)
  1. to emit or reflect light in a flickering manner; shine brightly and intermittently; sparkletwinkling stars
  2. (of the eyes) to sparkle, esp with amusement or delight
  3. rare to move about quickly
  4. (also tr) rare to wink (the eyes); blink
noun
  1. an intermittent gleam of light; flickering brightness; sparkle or glimmer
  2. an instant
  3. a rare word for wink 1
Derived Formstwinkler, nountwinkly, adjective

Word Origin

Old English twinclian; related to Middle High German zwinken to blink
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

Word Origin and History for twinkle

v.

Old English twinclian, frequentative of twincan "to wink, blink;" related to Middle High German zwinken, German zwinkern, and probably somehow imitative. The noun is recorded from 1540s. Related: Twinkled; twinkling. Phrase in the twinkling of an eye is attested from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper