sprinkle

[spring-kuhl]
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verb (used with object), sprin·kled, sprin·kling.
  1. to scatter (a liquid, powder, etc.) in drops or particles: She sprinkled powder on the baby.
  2. to disperse or distribute here and there.
  3. to overspread with drops or particles of water, powder, or the like: to sprinkle a lawn.
  4. to diversify or intersperse with objects scattered here and there.
verb (used without object), sprin·kled, sprin·kling.
  1. to scatter or disperse liquid, a powder, etc., in drops or particles.
  2. to be sprinkled.
  3. to rain slightly (often used impersonally with it as subject): It may sprinkle this evening.
noun
  1. the act or an instance of sprinkling.
  2. something used for sprinkling.
  3. Usually sprinkles. small particles of chocolate, candy, sugar, etc., used as a decorative topping for cookies, cakes, ice-cream cones, and the like.
  4. a light rain.
  5. a small quantity or number.

Origin of sprinkle

1350–1400; Middle English sprenklen (v.); cognate with Dutch sprenkelen, German sprenkeln; akin to Old English sprengan to sprinkle, make (something) spring, scatter, causative of springan to spring
Related formsin·ter·sprin·kle, verb (used with object), in·ter·sprin·kled, in·ter·sprin·kling.pre·sprin·kle, verb (used with object), pre·sprin·kled, pre·sprin·kling.re·sprin·kle, verb, re·sprin·kled, re·sprin·kling.un·sprin·kled, adjective

Synonyms for sprinkle

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1. distribute, rain. Sprinkle, scatter, strew mean to fling, spread, or disperse. To sprinkle means to fling about small drops or particles: to sprinkle water on clothes, powder on plants. To scatter is to disperse or spread widely: to scatter seeds. To strew is to scatter, especially in such a way as to cover or partially cover a surface: to strew flowers on a grave.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for sprinkle

sprinkle

verb
  1. to scatter (liquid, powder, etc) in tiny particles or droplets over (something)
  2. (tr) to distribute over (something)the field was sprinkled with flowers
  3. (intr) to drizzle slightly
noun
  1. the act or an instance of sprinkling or a quantity that is sprinkled
  2. a slight drizzle

Word Origin for sprinkle

C14: probably from Middle Dutch sprenkelen; related to Old English spearca 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 sprinkle
v.

late 14c. (implied in sprinkled), frequentative of sprenge (see spring (v.)) or via Middle Dutch, Middle Low German sprenkel "spot, speck," from PIE root *(s)preg- "to jerk, scatter" (cf. Latin spargere "to scatter, sprinkle"). The meaning "rain lightly" is first recorded 1778. Related: Sprinkling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper