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[twing-kuh l] /ˈtwɪŋ kəl/
verb (used without object), twinkled, twinkling.
to shine with a flickering gleam of light, as a star or distant light.
to sparkle in the light:
The diamond on her finger twinkled in the firelight.
(of the eyes) to be bright with amusement, pleasure, etc.
to move flutteringly and quickly, as flashes of light; flit.
Archaic. to wink; blink.
verb (used with object), twinkled, twinkling.
to emit (light) in intermittent gleams or flashes.
Archaic. to wink (the eyes or eyelids).
a flickering or intermittent brightness or light.
a scintillating brightness in the eyes; sparkle.
the time required for a wink; a twinkling.
Archaic. a wink.
Origin of twinkle
before 900; Middle English twinklen (v.), Old English twinclian; see twink, -le
Related forms
twinkler, noun
untwinkled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for twinkle
Historical Examples
  • twinkle and Chubbins followed his example, and found the pink liquid very delightful to drink.

    Policeman Bluejay L. Frank Baum
  • "Still, it was good of you to warn us," twinkle added, sweetly.

    Policeman Bluejay L. Frank Baum
  • So twinkle flew up and crept into her basket again, quickly returning with a bit of cookie in her claw.

    Policeman Bluejay L. Frank Baum
  • "I'm naughty sometimes, and so is Chubbins," said twinkle, honestly.

    Policeman Bluejay L. Frank Baum
  • twinkle and Chubbins craned their necks over the edge of the nest and looked down.

    Policeman Bluejay L. Frank Baum
  • With these words he darted toward the tree, and twinkle and Chubbins followed.

    Policeman Bluejay L. Frank Baum
  • Mr. twinkle was followed by Jack, who could not help smiling at the dense ignorance displayed by the previous speakers.

    Jack Harkaway in New York Bracebridge Hemyng
  • twinkle Tail discovered this when he started in house-hunting.

  • So twinkle and Chubbins got up and walked slowly toward the magician, taking great care where they stepped.

    Twinkle and Chubbins L. Frank (Lyman Frank) Baum
  • But after twinkle Tail had taken it over you never would have known it.

British Dictionary definitions for twinkle


verb (mainly intransitive)
to emit or reflect light in a flickering manner; shine brightly and intermittently; sparkle: twinkling stars
(of the eyes) to sparkle, esp with amusement or delight
(rare) to move about quickly
(also transitive) (rare) to wink (the eyes); blink
an intermittent gleam of light; flickering brightness; sparkle or glimmer
an instant
a rare word for wink1
Derived Forms
twinkler, noun
twinkly, adjective
Word Origin
Old English twinclian; related to Middle High German zwinken to blink
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 twinkle

Old English twinclian, frequentative of twincan "to wink, blink;" related to Middle High German zwinken, German zwinkern, and probably somehow imitative. The noun is recorded from 1540s. Related: Twinkled; twinkling. Phrase in the twinkling of an eye is attested from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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