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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.
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.