[ twing-kuh l ]
/ ˈtwɪŋ kəl /

verb (used without object), twin·kled, twin·kling.

verb (used with object), twin·kled, twin·kling.

to emit (light) in intermittent gleams or flashes.
Archaic. to wink (the eyes or eyelids).


Nearby words

  1. twining,
  2. twinjet,
  3. twink,
  4. twink out,
  5. twinkie,
  6. twinkling,
  7. twinleaf,
  8. twinned,
  9. twinning,
  10. twins

Origin of twinkle

before 900; Middle English twinklen (v.), Old English twinclian; see twink, -le

Related formstwin·kler, nounun·twin·kled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for twinkle

British Dictionary definitions for twinkle


/ (ˈtwɪŋkəl) /

verb (mainly intr)

to emit or reflect light in a flickering manner; shine brightly and intermittently; sparkletwinkling stars
(of the eyes) to sparkle, esp with amusement or delight
rare to move about quickly
(also tr) rare to wink (the eyes); blink


Derived Formstwinkler, nountwinkly, adjective

Word Origin for twinkle

Old English twinclian; related to Middle High German zwinken to blink

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 twinkle



Old English twinclian, frequentative of twincan "to wink, blink;" related to Middle High German zwinken, German zwinkern, and probably somehow imitative. The noun is recorded from 1540s. Related: Twinkled; twinkling. Phrase in the twinkling of an eye is attested from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper