Definition of twinkle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtwiNGk(ə)l/


[no object]
1(Of a star or light, or a shiny object) shine with a gleam that varies repeatedly between bright and faint: the lights twinkled in the distance (as adjective twinkling) twinkling harbor lights
More example sentences
  • The stars twinkle under the bright light of the full moon.
  • There are some bright new southern stars twinkling as our northern lights try to recharge their batteries.
  • As he turned out the light, three bright stars twinkled above the silent house.
sparkling, glistening, glittering, glimmering, glinting, gleaming, flickering, winking, shining, scintillating, lambent
literary coruscating
1.1(Of a person’s eyes) sparkle, especially with amusement.
Example sentences
  • He's sitting there, one eyebrow raised, his beautiful eyes twinkling with amusement.
  • ‘Look’, he said, his blue eyes twinkling with amusement.
  • She looks at Jonnie, with eyes twinkling in amusement.
1.2Smile so that one’s eyes sparkle: “Aha!” he said, twinkling at her (as adjective twinkling) a twinkling smile
More example sentences
  • He stood with his arms folded and head cocked to one side, twinkling at me.
  • When I asked if he knew the location of the real Stone of Destiny he smiled, twinkled mischievously, and said all would be revealed in the fullness of time.
  • Take those tapes of Ronald Reagan's political speeches and memoirs, in which he smiled and twinkled and said not very much at all.
1.3(Of a person’s feet) move lightly and rapidly: his sandaled feet twinkled over the ground
More example sentences
  • The famous Gallowglass Ceili Band will provide the music with some lively tunes to get the toes twinkling.
  • Playing the ball late, his feet started to twinkle.
  • As principal dancer with the English National Ballet, her toes have to twinkle for a living.


1A sparkle or gleam in a person’s eyes.
Example sentences
  • The familiar twinkle danced in her sparkling brown eyes.
  • A grin cracked across the man's stony face, and a twinkle gleamed from his eyes.
  • I saw a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and he waved the salad.
1.1A light that appears continually to grow brighter and fainter: the distant twinkle of the lights
More example sentences
  • The twinkle of light began to grow and divide, until Peter could see a myriad of bright lights just up ahead.
  • Tired twinkles of light came through the fissures in the roof tiles and a small window in the back wall.
  • The stars serenely encased the green-and-brown planet in their milky twinkle, lighting up all the oceans with a crystal glow, a beautiful shine.


in a twinkling (or the twinkling of an eye)

In an instant; very quickly.
Example sentences
  • In a twinkling, the ball was swept to the onrushing Kieran Lewis.
  • Our fears that learners would starve was wiped out in a twinkling of an eye.
  • In a twinkling, the broad, tall figure was reduced to thin, glassy shards that dissolved in the air.



Pronunciation: /-k(ə)lər/
Example sentences
  • Soon, lake docks are glowing with electric twinklers and candle lamps.
  • Dealing with those jumbled balls of tiny twinklers is enough to turn anyone into Scrooge.
  • If you're not interested in having one for your site, and if you like my globes and twinklers, I'd love to hear from you.


Pronunciation: /-k(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • But then she greets you with a twinkly smile and a Zsa-Zsa Gabor-esque ‘DAH-ling!’
  • I adore going for walks on Christmas day, because the streets are so quiet but there's a distinctly festive feeling, with twinkly fairy-lights and decorations everywhere.
  • However, it will help to align yourself with independence and stay true to your special, twinkly, mischievous-elf sort of nature.


Old English twinclian (verb), of Germanic origin.

  • As well as its original sense ‘to sparkle, glimmer’, twinkle also meant ‘to wink, blink the eyes’ from the 14th to the early 19th century. The meaning ‘the time taken to wink or blink’—a very short time, in other words—is just as old, but it survives only as in the twinkling of an eye, ‘very quickly’. This is probably because the phrase appears in various passages in the Bible, including Corinthians: ‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.’ A similar expression containing the same idea is in the blink of an eye.

Words that rhyme with twinkle

besprinkle, crinkle, sprinkle, tinkle, winkle, wrinkle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: twin·kle

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