[driz-uh l]

verb (used without object), driz·zled, driz·zling.

to rain gently and steadily in fine drops; sprinkle: It drizzled throughout the night.
to fall in fine drops.

verb (used with object), driz·zled, driz·zling.

to pour in a fine stream: Drizzle melted butter over the breadcrumb topping.
to rain or let fall in fine drops or particles; sprinkle: He then drizzled grated cheese over the hot pasta.


a very light rain.
Meteorology. precipitation consisting of numerous minute droplets of water less than 1/50 (0.02) inch (0.5 mm) in diameter.

Origin of drizzle

1535–45; perhaps back formation from dryseling, dissimilated variant of Middle English drysning fall (of dew); akin to Old English drēosan to fall; cognate with Old Saxon driosan, Gothic driusan
Related formsdriz·zly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for drizzle

sprinkle, spray, dribble, spit, drop, drip, shower, mist, mizzle

Examples from the Web for drizzle

Contemporary Examples of drizzle

Historical Examples of drizzle

  • Well, it's only a drizzle and we can take a streetcar to within a block of the house.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • He nodded; she jumped out; and they scurried through the drizzle.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • The rain beat down in a drizzle, and for miles the smoke hung like a pall.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • But what in time are you doin' out in this drizzle with a cold and no umbrella?

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Make the batches middling thick, enough so that it will not drizzle from the wire.


    Leon Luther Pray

British Dictionary definitions for drizzle



very light rain, specifically consisting of droplets less than 0.5 mm in diameter


(intr) to rain lightly
(tr) to moisten with tiny droplets
Derived Formsdrizzly, adjective

Word Origin for drizzle

Old English drēosan to fall; related to Old Saxon driosan, Gothic driusan, Norwegian drjōsa
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 drizzle

1540s, perhaps an alteration of drysning "a falling of dew" (c.1400), from Old English -drysnian, related to dreosan "to fall," from PIE root *dhreu- (see drip (v.)). Or perhaps a frequentative of Middle English dresen "to fall," from Old English dreosan. Related: Drizzled; drizzling. As a noun, from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper