an act of shining with intermittent gleams of light.
the time required for a wink; an instant.
Archaic. winking; a wink.

Nearby words

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

Origin of twinkling

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at twinkle, -ing1

Related formsun·twin·kling, adjective


[twing-kuh l]

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

to shine with a flickering gleam of light, as a star or distant light.
to sparkle in the light: The diamond on her finger twinkled in the firelight.
(of the eyes) to be bright with amusement, pleasure, etc.
to move flutteringly and quickly, as flashes of light; flit.
Archaic. to wink; blink.

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

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


a flickering or intermittent brightness or light.
a scintillating brightness in the eyes; sparkle.
the time required for a wink; a twinkling.
Archaic. a wink.

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 twinkling

British Dictionary definitions for twinkling


twink (twɪŋk)


a very short time; instant; momentAlso called: twinkling of an eye


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


an intermittent gleam of light; flickering brightness; sparkle or glimmer
an instant
a rare word for wink 1
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 twinkling



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

Idioms and Phrases with twinkling


see in the twinkling of an eye.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.