[spahr-kuh l]
See more synonyms for sparkle on
verb (used without object), spar·kled, spar·kling.
  1. to issue in or as if in little sparks, as fire or light: The candlelight sparkled in the crystal.
  2. to emit little sparks, as burning matter: The flames leaped and sparkled.
  3. to shine or glisten with little gleams of light, as a brilliant gem; glitter; coruscate.
  4. to effervesce, as wine.
  5. to be brilliant, lively, or vivacious.
verb (used with object), spar·kled, spar·kling.
  1. to cause to sparkle: moonlight sparkling the water; pleasure sparkling her eyes.
  1. a little spark or fiery particle.
  2. a sparkling appearance, luster, or play of light: the sparkle of a diamond.
  3. brilliance, liveliness, or vivacity.

Origin of sparkle

1150–1200; Middle English (noun and v.); see spark1, -le
Related formsnon·spar·kling, adjectiveout·spar·kle, verb (used with object), out·spar·kled, out·spar·kling.un·spark·ling, adjective

Synonyms for sparkle

See more synonyms for on
3. See glisten. 8. glitter. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sparkle

Contemporary Examples of sparkle

Historical Examples of sparkle

  • There was no sparkle of any kind on the lazy stream of his life.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The color came into her cheeks at the memory, and a sparkle into her eyes.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • The glasses over his eyes seemed to sparkle as if with fire.

  • Athens,—except for that sparkle,—thy name, I had moldered to ash!

  • The fliers hung aimless overhead, no sparkle to their hulls.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

British Dictionary definitions for sparkle


  1. to issue or reflect or cause to issue or reflect bright points of light
  2. (intr) (of wine, mineral water, etc) to effervesce
  3. (intr) to be vivacious or witty
  1. a point of light, spark, or gleam
  2. vivacity or wit

Word Origin for sparkle

C12 sparklen, frequentative of sparken to spark 1
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 sparkle

c.1200, frequentative verb form of Middle English sparke (see spark). Of wines, from early 15c. Related: Sparkled; sparkling.


early 14c., from sparkle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper