View synonyms for trickle


[ trik-uhl ]

verb (used without object)

, trick·led, trick·ling.
  1. to flow or fall by drops, or in a small, gentle stream:

    Tears trickled down her cheeks.

  2. to come, go, or pass bit by bit, slowly, or irregularly:

    The guests trickled out of the room.

verb (used with object)

, trick·led, trick·ling.
  1. to cause to trickle.


  1. a trickling flow or stream.

    Synonyms: drip, seepage, dribble

  2. a small, slow, or irregular quantity of anything coming, going, or proceeding:

    a trickle of visitors throughout the day.


/ ˈtrɪkəl /


  1. to run or cause to run in thin or slow streams

    she trickled the sand through her fingers

  2. intr to move, go, or pass gradually

    the crowd trickled away


  1. a thin, irregular, or slow flow of something
  2. the act of trickling

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Derived Forms

  • ˈtrickling, adjective
  • ˈtrickly, adjective
  • ˈtricklingly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • trickling·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of trickle1

1325–75; Middle English triklen, trekelen (v.), apparently sandhi variant of strikle, perhaps equivalent to strike (in obsolete sense “flow”) + -le

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Word History and Origins

Origin of trickle1

C14: perhaps of imitative origin

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Example Sentences

Such systems need only a trickle of power to smell smoke or detect rising heat, he says.

Before that, the water just wasn’t there—or if it was, perhaps it was a trickle or a stream.

The cash spigot that had been flowing to startups throughout Magic Leap’s lifetime slowed to a trickle this year when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

From Fortune

A plant satiated on NPK fertilizers reaches for the exudate tap with leafy hands and turns it down to a trickle.

Since the onset of the pandemic, each day has brought a slow trickle of restaurant closures, but now, they’re coming in waves.

From Eater

Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, many old Nazis managed discreetly to trickle back to what they regarded as the Fatherland.

In the meantime, much of the book is already available online, and scholarly criticism has already started to trickle in.

Months after the president stepped in to save the Yazidis from genocide, the airstrikes have slowed to a trickle.

A small trickle of donations from friends and family, handled by a church in Indiana, was his main source of funding.

In days of yore, blood on screen was to be feared: think the trickle of blood signaling defilement in old vampire movies.

I laved his pain-twisted face with the cool water and let a few drops trickle into his open mouth.

The trickle of water sounded very pleasant to all the children as they lay down once more to drink.

Beardsley savored the thought tastily, and let it trickle away, and the look of glee on his cherubic face was gone.

He looked down at his hand, where two long red scratches oozed a trickle of blood.

These drops of water trickle to the floor, and occasionally the exuded white matter falls.





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