9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[spring-kuh l] /ˈsprɪŋ kəl/
verb (used with object), sprinkled, sprinkling.
to scatter (a liquid, powder, etc.) in drops or particles:
She sprinkled powder on the baby.
to disperse or distribute here and there.
to overspread with drops or particles of water, powder, or the like:
to sprinkle a lawn.
to diversify or intersperse with objects scattered here and there.
verb (used without object), sprinkled, sprinkling.
to scatter or disperse liquid, a powder, etc., in drops or particles.
to be sprinkled.
to rain slightly (often used impersonally with it as subject):
It may sprinkle this evening.
the act or an instance of sprinkling.
something used for sprinkling.
Usually, sprinkles. small particles of chocolate, candy, sugar, etc., used as a decorative topping for cookies, cakes, ice-cream cones, and the like.
a light rain.
a small quantity or number.
Origin of sprinkle
1350-1400; Middle English sprenklen (v.); cognate with Dutch sprenkelen, German sprenkeln; akin to Old English sprengan to sprinkle, make (something) spring, scatter, causative of springan to spring
Related forms
intersprinkle, verb (used with object), intersprinkled, intersprinkling.
presprinkle, verb (used with object), presprinkled, presprinkling.
resprinkle, verb, resprinkled, resprinkling.
unsprinkled, adjective
1. distribute, rain. Sprinkle, scatter, strew mean to fling, spread, or disperse. To sprinkle means to fling about small drops or particles: to sprinkle water on clothes, powder on plants. To scatter is to disperse or spread widely: to scatter seeds. To strew is to scatter, especially in such a way as to cover or partially cover a surface: to strew flowers on a grave. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sprinkle
  • sprinkle with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, and cook in the seasoned butter until well browned.
  • Parboil sweetbreads, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dredge with flour.
  • Place in dripping-pan on fish-sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dredge with flour.
  • sprinkle with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, and sauté in butter.
  • And if you can sprinkle your homiletics with scientistic jargon, so much the better.
  • sprinkle those statements on your sweetheart throughout the day.
  • There is a sprinkle of a discussion about dating materials.
  • Spoon a ladleful of soup over the fish, and sprinkle parsley over both fish and soup.
  • If you have a peel, lightly sprinkle it with cornmeal, and then transfer the dough onto it.
  • On the whole, though, his observations sprinkle wisdom from decades of reporting.
British Dictionary definitions for sprinkle


to scatter (liquid, powder, etc) in tiny particles or droplets over (something)
(transitive) to distribute over (something): the field was sprinkled with flowers
(intransitive) to drizzle slightly
the act or an instance of sprinkling or a quantity that is sprinkled
a slight drizzle
Word Origin
C14: probably from Middle Dutch sprenkelen; related to Old English spearcaspark1
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 sprinkle

late 14c. (implied in sprinkled), frequentative of sprenge (see spring (v.)) or via Middle Dutch, Middle Low German sprenkel "spot, speck," from PIE root *(s)preg- "to jerk, scatter" (cf. Latin spargere "to scatter, sprinkle"). The meaning "rain lightly" is first recorded 1778. Related: Sprinkling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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