Definition of ripple in English:


Syllabification: rip·ple
Pronunciation: /ˈripəl


  • 1A small wave or series of waves on the surface of water, especially as caused by an object dropping into it or a slight breeze.
    More example sentences
    • Feeling the need to vent his anger, Shane threw a stone into the little pond at Central Park, causing a series of violent ripples in the water that was before so calm.
    • I'm sitting next to her on the rock now, and we are both watching the water ripple in the breeze.
    • The water sparkled a deep blue, and the wind blowing softly made the water ripple gently in the breeze.
    wavelet, wave, undulation, ripplet, ridge, ruffle
  • 1.1A thing resembling a ripple or ripples in appearance or movement: the sand undulated and was ridged with ripples
    More example sentences
    • The fans seemed vocal for both bands at this particular show, but with little more than a small ripple of movement every now and then, this night left much to be desired.
    • A ripple of movement across the surface of the mirror caught Steffen's attention.
    • She studied the smooth ripples, as they formed with each movement of her feet.
  • 1.2A gentle rising and falling sound, especially of laughter or conversation, that spreads through a group of people: a ripple of laughter ran around the room
    More example sentences
    • A gong rang, and the ripples of sound faded into silence.
    • A crescendo rises and threatens to explode, but vanishes, leaving all but a ripple of sound.
    • Today's results, which came in at the top end of expectations, were given a gentle ripple of applause with the shares moving some 3% higher.
  • 1.3A particular feeling or effect that spreads through or to someone or something: his words set off a ripple of excitement within her
    More example sentences
    • I vaguely here my mind wondering, I feel a ripple of excitement spread through my body, as I relive old movie scenes where moments like this turned out for the best.
    • The sudden forcing noise as he pushed the sticking window open caused a ripple of excitement to quickly spread through the crowd below.
    • The biplane had arrived in town three days earlier - the first aeroplane to fly into New Plymouth - creating a ripple of excitement
  • 1.4 Physics A wave on a fluid surface, the restoring force for which is provided by surface tension rather than gravity, and that consequently has a wavelength shorter than that corresponding to the minimum speed of propagation.
  • 1.5 Physics Small periodic, usually undesirable, variations in electrical voltage superposed on a direct voltage or on an alternating voltage of lower frequency.
  • 2A type of ice cream with wavy lines of colored flavored syrup running through it: raspberry ripple
    More example sentences
    • Japanese ice-cream lovers have swapped traditional flavours such as raspberry ripple for something a little more exotic.
    • Totally embarrassed, Sara realized that there was a considerable amount of ice cream on her chin, mostly raspberry fudge ripple.
    • Plain vanilla, chocolate and raspberry ripple will soon be history.


[no object] Back to top  
  • 1(Of water) form or flow with small waves on the surface: the Mediterranean rippled and sparkled (as adjective rippling) the rippling waters
    More example sentences
    • The water rippled and larger waves came to the surface.
    • The cold waters rippled in small waves; splashing onto the bank.
    • Slowly, the ship coasted forwards, the water rippling gently around the bow.
    form ripples on, ruffle, wrinkle
  • 1.1 [with object] Cause (the surface of water) to form small waves: a cool wind rippled the surface of the estuary
    More example sentences
    • Far below him, the wind rippled the smooth surface of the lake.
    • She exhaled in a great rush, rippling the water's surface, and reached for the soaps and scented oils her maids had left her.
    • She tossed her golden hair gently behind her shoulder, and reached down to ripple the cool water's surface.
  • 1.2Move in a way resembling small waves: fields of grain rippling in the wind
    More example sentences
    • He had a flat stomach, the skin flawless and muscles rippling under as he moved to pull a shirt over his head.
    • Without a shirt on, his muscles rippled with every move.
    • The horse's muscles rippled with each bounding move it took forward, and it snorted as it breathed heavily.
  • 1.3(Of a sound or feeling) spread through a person, group, or place: applause rippled around the tables
    More example sentences
    • A murmur of excitement rippled around the assembly-hall.
    • The sound of explosions rippling across the city reached his ears as he lay awake in bed.
    • The disturbing sound rippled throughout the room and sent a chill running down his spine.
  • 1.4 (as adjective rippled) Having the appearance of small waves: a broad noodle, rippled on both sides, wider than fettuccine
    More example sentences
    • His shirt was unbuttoned, revealing a set of firm, rippled abs.
    • I screamed, stumbling to the tiny rippled window beside the bathtub.
    • Sometimes the slightly rippled water casts strange abstract patterns of light on the ceilings above.



Pronunciation: /ˈriplit/


Pronunciation: /ˈrip(ə)lē/
More example sentences
  • At home, instead of making pasta, I have settled for thick, ripply dried lasagna, which doesn't quite stack up.
  • Almost no light seeped through the grilles above her, making little ripply moonlit patches on the rainwater river.
  • He was strongly built, had his ripply hair slicked back, and wore official-looking black clothes.


late 17th century (as a verb): of unknown origin.

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a small amount; a little