Definition of sprinkle in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈspriNGk(ə)l/


1 [with object] Scatter or pour small drops or particles of a substance over (an object or surface): I sprinkled the floor with water
More example sentences
  • At night she sprinkles a few drops of lavender oil on her pillow to help her sleep.
  • Toast the bread slices, one side only, pile the cheese on an untoasted side, sprinkle a few drops of milk on top of the cheese and grill until the cheese bubbles.
  • Once it has thickened, pour it over the fruit - sprinkle a little icing sugar over the custard to stop a skin forming.
splash, trickle, spray, shower;
scatter, strew;
drizzle, pepper
1.1Scatter or pour (small drops or particles of a substance) over an object or surface: sprinkle sesame seeds over the top
More example sentences
  • Using a small spoon, sprinkle the surface with sago flour.
  • Once the pan was hot enough, I sprinkled the smooth surface with vegetable oil and started reheating yesterday's rice.
  • Pour the soup in bowls, sprinkle the surface with toasted sesame seeds, and serve with sesame crackers.
1.2Distribute or disperse something randomly or irregularly throughout (something): he sprinkled his conversation with quotations
More example sentences
  • The conversation was sprinkled with just the right brand of British wit, capable of making anyone feel at home.
  • Their internal monologues and many of their conversations are liberally sprinkled with French words and phrases.
  • While often sad and grim, the book is nevertheless sprinkled with the author's trademark humor.
dot, stipple, stud, fleck, speckle, spot, pepper;
scatter, cover
1.3Place or attach (a number of things) at irregularly spaced intervals: a dress with little daisies sprinkled all over it
More example sentences
  • There were freckles sprinkled across his nose, which was something I had never noticed before.
  • Freckles were lightly sprinkled over her nose and her hair was pulled up into a high ponytail.
  • Claims such as ‘white is the new black’ or ‘history is the new cooking’ are liberally sprinkled all over the media.
2 [no object] (it sprinkles, it is sprinkling, etc.) North American Rain very lightly: it began to sprinkle
More example sentences
  • It had begun to sprinkle lightly, but instead of hurrying home, he ignored it.
  • The rain sprinkled down, as the car pulled away from the graveyard, and turned onto the highway.
  • It started to sprinkle, and then rain and Jaime couldn't move.


1A small quantity or amount of something scattered over an object or surface: a generous sprinkle of pepper figurative fiction with a sprinkle of fact
More example sentences
  • Try adding a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper or balsamic vinegar to a bowl of freshly cut strawberries - it makes a surprising change.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a swirl of cream.
  • An extra drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of brown sugar on top is yummy!
2 [in singular] North American A light rain.
Example sentences
  • The rain first started as a light sprinkle but now it was getting heavier and heavier.
  • The rain outside has slowed down to a light sprinkle.
  • A light sprinkle on Thursday lead to an evening downpour just days before the race.
3 (sprinkles) chiefly North American Tiny sugar shapes, typically rods and balls, used for decorating cakes, ice cream, and other desserts.
Example sentences
  • Make some red icing and then the kids can decorate the top with sprinkles and heart shaped candies.
  • We made chocolate cakes and decorated them with sprinkles.
  • I bit into a doughnut covered in chocolate sprinkles.


Late Middle English: perhaps from Middle Dutch sprenkelen.

Words that rhyme with sprinkle

besprinkle, crinkle, tinkle, twinkle, winkle, wrinkle
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.