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[driz-uh l] /ˈdrɪz əl/
verb (used without object), drizzled, drizzling.
to rain gently and steadily in fine drops; sprinkle:
It drizzled throughout the night.
to fall in fine drops.
verb (used with object), drizzled, drizzling.
to pour in a fine stream:
Drizzle melted butter over the breadcrumb topping.
to rain or let fall in fine drops or particles; sprinkle:
He then drizzled grated cheese over the hot pasta.
a very light rain.
Meteorology. precipitation consisting of numerous minute droplets of water less than 1/50 (0.02) inch (0.5 mm) in diameter.
1535-45; perhaps back formation from dryseling, dissimilated variant of Middle English drysning fall (of dew); akin to Old English drēosan to fall; cognate with Old Saxon driosan, Gothic driusan
Related forms
drizzly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for drizzling
  • The village that fills up during the tourist season is deserted, and bleak skies alternate with drizzling rain.
  • One of them drinks some of the water and spirts it into the air, making a fine spray in imitation of a mist or drizzling rain.
  • It was a cloudy morning, intermittently drizzling, and the overcast sunlight provides all of the ambient light in the cemetery.
  • The sky was full of low clouds and drizzling rain as he went to the train depot.
  • drizzling rain and fog provide ideal weather conditions for downy mildew.
  • It's not quite drizzling when our buses arrive at the refuge.
  • The weather was drizzling and the yard was wet with large puddles of standing water.
  • It was a dark, cloudy night, and a drizzling rain began to fall.
  • By this time, it was drizzling and dark and the weather was worsening.
  • The weather was cold that day, and it was drizzling freezing rain.
British Dictionary definitions for drizzling


very light rain, specifically consisting of droplets less than 0.5 mm in diameter
(intransitive) to rain lightly
(transitive) to moisten with tiny droplets
Derived Forms
drizzly, adjective
Word Origin
Old English drēosan to fall; related to Old Saxon driosan, Gothic driusan, Norwegian drjōsa
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
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Word Origin and History for drizzling



1540s, perhaps an alteration of drysning "a falling of dew" (c.1400), from Old English -drysnian, related to dreosan "to fall," from PIE root *dhreu- (see drip (v.)). Or perhaps a frequentative of Middle English dresen "to fall," from Old English dreosan. Related: Drizzled; drizzling. As a noun, from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for drizzling



drip (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for drizzling


very small, numerous water drops that may appear to float while being carried by air currents; drizzle drops generally have diameters between about 0.2 and 0.5 millimetre (0.008 and 0.02 inch). Smaller ones are usually cloud or fog droplets, while larger drops are called raindrops. Drizzle often is accompanied by fog but differs from it because drizzle drops fall to the ground. Drizzle commonly falls from stratus clouds. See also rain.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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