[ sin-tl-ey-ting ]
/ ˈsɪn tlˌeɪ tɪŋ /


animated; vivacious; effervescent: a scintillating personality.
witty; brilliantly clever: a scintillating conversationalist; a play full of scintillating dialogue.

Origin of scintillating

First recorded in 1880–85; scintillate + -ing1

Related forms

scin·til·lat·ing·ly, adverbun·scin·til·lat·ing, adjective

Definition for scintillating (2 of 2)


[ sin-tl-eyt ]
/ ˈsɪn tlˌeɪt /

verb (used without object), scin·til·lat·ed, scin·til·lat·ing.

to emit sparks.
to sparkle; flash: a mind that scintillates with brilliance.
to twinkle, as the stars.
Electronics. (of a spot of light or image on a radar display) to shift rapidly around a mean position.
  1. (of the amplitude, phase, or polarization of an electromagnetic wave) to fluctuate in a random manner.
  2. (of an energetic photon or particle) to produce a flash of light in a phosphor by striking it.

verb (used with object), scin·til·lat·ed, scin·til·lat·ing.

to emit as sparks; flash forth.

Origin of scintillate

First recorded in 1615–25, scintillate is from the Latin word scintillātus (past participle of scintillāre to send out sparks, flash). See scintilla, -ate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scintillating

British Dictionary definitions for scintillating (1 of 2)


/ (ˈsɪntɪˌleɪtɪŋ) /


sparkling; twinkling
animated or brilliant

Derived Forms

scintillatingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for scintillating (2 of 2)


/ (ˈsɪntɪˌleɪt) /

verb (mainly intr)

(also tr) to give off (sparks); sparkle; twinkle
to be animated or brilliant
physics to give off flashes of light as a result of the impact of particles or photons

Derived Forms

scintillant, adjectivescintillantly, adverb

Word Origin for scintillate

C17: from Latin scintillāre, from scintilla a spark
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