Definition of sprinkle in English:

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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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sprin·kle

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