[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

Examples from the Web for drizzly

Contemporary Examples of drizzly

  • But a drizzly ten minutes later, an exuberantly overweight man with a bright-red face suddenly roared his taxi around the corner.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Resurgence of British Cuisine

    Condé Nast Traveler

    January 17, 2014

  • On a drizzly morning in Cape Cod, all talk of birthers and beer summits was silenced as hundreds said goodbye to a fallen soldier.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Salute to a Noble Marine

    Mike Barnicle

    August 4, 2009

  • One hears that the globe is warming but we see little evidence of it here in drizzly London.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama Meets the Queen

    Katty Kay

    March 31, 2009

Historical Examples of drizzly

British Dictionary definitions for drizzly



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 drizzly



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