• synonyms


[spang-guh l]
See more synonyms for spangle on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small, thin, often circular piece of glittering metal or other material, used especially for decorating garments.
  2. any small, bright drop, object, spot, or the like.
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verb (used with object), span·gled, span·gling.
  1. to decorate with spangles.
  2. to sprinkle or stud with small, bright pieces, objects, spots, etc.
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verb (used without object), span·gled, span·gling.
  1. to glitter with or like spangles.
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Origin of spangle

1375–1425; late Middle English spangele (noun), equivalent to spange spangle (perhaps < Middle Dutch) + -le -le
Related formsspan·gly, adjectiveun·span·gled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for spangle

Historical Examples

  • You know my reputation—30 years in a circus and never lost a spangle.

    Letters of a Dakota Divorcee

    Jane Burr

  • Presently their objective came into sight: a spangle of lights on the ground.

    Tam O' The Scoots

    Edgar Wallace

  • They might miss the spangle and sawdust of the circus, you know.

    Letty and the Twins

    Helen Sherman Griffith

  • These blessed considerations were made to spangle in mine eyes.

  • Sheila Kaye-Smith is not a painter, even though with dew diamonds the thorn-bush she spangle.

British Dictionary definitions for spangle


  1. a small thin piece of metal or other shiny material used as a decoration, esp on clothes; sequin
  2. any glittering or shiny spot or object
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  1. (intr) to glitter or shine with or like spangles
  2. (tr) to decorate or cover with spangles
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Derived Formsspangly, adjective

Word Origin

C15: diminutive of spange, perhaps from Middle Dutch: clasp; compare Old Norse spöng
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 spangle


early 15c., diminutive of spang "glittering ornament, spangle," probably from Middle Dutch spange "brooch, clasp," cognate with Old English spang "buckle, clasp," from Proto-Germanic *spango, from an extended form of the root of span (v.).

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1540s, from spangle (n.). Related: Spangled; spangling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper