from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small, often circular piece of sparkling metal or plastic sewn especially on garments for decoration.
  • noun A small sparkling object, drop, or spot.
  • intransitive verb To adorn or cause to sparkle by covering with or as if with spangles.
  • intransitive verb To sparkle in the manner of spangles.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small piece of glittering material, such as metal foil; hence, any small sparkling object.
  • noun One of the small metal clasps used in fastening the tapes and wires of a hoop-skirt.
  • noun A spongy excrescence on the oak. See oakspangle.
  • noun One of many small, somewhat triangular spots on the wing of a pigeon or fowl.
  • To set or cover with many small bright objects or points; especially, to decorate with spangles. as a garment.
  • To glitter; glisten, like anything set with spangles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To show brilliant spots or points; to glisten; to glitter.
  • noun A small plate or boss of shining metal; something brilliant used as an ornament, especially when stitched on the dress.
  • noun Figuratively, any little thing that sparkless.
  • noun See under Oak.
  • transitive verb To set or sprinkle with, or as with, spangles; to adorn with small, distinct, brilliant bodies.
  • transitive verb (Zoöl.) a tropical humming bird (Lophornis reginæ). See Coquette, 2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small piece of sparkling metallic material sewn on to a garment as decoration; a sequin.
  • noun Any small sparkling object.
  • verb intransitive To sparkle, flash or coruscate.
  • verb transitive To fix spangles to a garment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb glitter as if covered with spangles
  • verb decorate with spangles
  • noun adornment consisting of a small piece of shiny material used to decorate clothing


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English spangel, diminutive of spange, from Middle Dutch, clasp; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English spangel ("a small piece of ornamental metal; a small ornament")


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  • The beautifully-lit Beliebers were the real stars of Bieber's show, but Katy Perry makes you actually believe in the ridiculous transformative spangle of pop music all over again.

    Justin Bieber; Katy Perry – review 2011

  • The Copper Beeches and Aspens spangle goldenly against the steel-blue sky.

    Rodeo Days James Robison 2011

  • The Copper Beeches and Aspens spangle goldenly against the steel-blue sky.

    Rodeo Days James Robison 2011

  • On a dark night, you can usually spot AE hanging out on the northwestern perimeter of a spangle of stars about two finger-widths east of Iota Aurigae.

    Weekend SkyWatcher's Forecast: February 5-7, 2010 | Universe Today 2010

  • The silvery leaves of the eucalyptus trees spangle like tinsel.

    The Lady Matador’s Hotel Cristina García 2010

  • Readers have taken me to task since my last Country Diary on the pools that spangle the high ridges like glittering sequins.

    Country diary: Lake District 2010

  • Remember when I was a disco dangle with a spangle sweating in my sticky pocket caning pop and disco dangle darling watching you?

    Bone Dust Disco Penny Goring 2010

  • Every person on the bus stared downward now into the mirror of the lake, as they crossed above it, and saw the spangle of their own lighted passing.

    Songs of Love & Death George R. R. Martin 2010

  • Every person on the bus stared downward now into the mirror of the lake, as they crossed above it, and saw the spangle of their own lighted passing.

    Songs of Love & Death George R. R. Martin 2010

  • Every person on the bus stared downward now into the mirror of the lake, as they crossed above it, and saw the spangle of their own lighted passing.

    Songs of Love & Death George R. R. Martin 2010


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  • And at any moment, of course, a turn of the kaleidoscope might suddenly toss a bright spangle into the grey pattern of one's days.

    - Edith Wharton, The Reef

    June 18, 2008

  • ...his vivid aspect, when seen gliding at high noon through a dark blue sea, leaving a milky-way wake of creamy foam, all spangled with golden gleamings.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 41

    July 25, 2008

  • This word strikes me as totally absurd.

    January 13, 2009

  • Whichbe, why do you hate freedom?

    January 13, 2009

  • It's a very... mardi gras word. Brings to mind tight-fitting costumes, drag queens, glitter and sequins.

    I kind of like it.

    January 13, 2009

  • My first association with this word is the National Anthem of the United States of America (I'm a Baltimore boy, after all), hence my question to Whichbe: Why do you hate freedom?

    January 13, 2009

  • Well, stars and banners were my second thought.

    Also, WeirdNet has odd priorites - has anyone here ever used the verb "to spangle"?

    January 14, 2009

  • Now that you mention it, I'm all for spangling it up and reviving it.

    January 14, 2009

  • Pleth, in the phrase "star-spangled banner", "spangled" is a form (participle) of the verb "to spangle". But of course you know that. One could argue that this represents a use of the verb.

    January 14, 2009

  • pleth, I've never seen it except as rolig mentions. It would be cool to describe something as e.g. "spangling in the sunlight", though.

    January 15, 2009

  • I spangled some binders the other day, with a hot-glue gun, some plastic eyeballs, and pompoms. Someone used the word "bedazzle" to describe my action, but I suspect they were using the trade name (naughty...) rather than a standard, if elderly, verb.

    So yes, I spangled them.

    January 15, 2009

  • I always suspected you were a spangler, C-b.

    January 15, 2009

  • I love freedom. Freedom from spangles.

    January 15, 2009

  • A spangled bear! How snazzy!

    P.S. C_b, I first read your comment as "I spangled some birders the other day," and I thought, "Wow. Wouldn't that scare away the birds?"

    Except crows, maybe.

    January 15, 2009

  • cf. water-spangles

    January 15, 2009

  • Indeed, rolig, you guessed aright. These are a few of my favorite handbags. (The colors bring out the highlights in my fur.)

    And then, of course, there's my dress tiara, which you may agree is mighty spangled.

    (My hunting tiara is a little more sedate.)

    Reesetee, didn't the "hot-glue gun" part tip you off?

    January 15, 2009

  • Ms. Bear, did you intend to link a picture of your handbags to your last comment? I, for one, would love to see your spangled handbags.

    January 16, 2009

  • psst... rolig, click on "These"! :)

    January 16, 2009

  • I did, C_b, and what I get is:

    ÿØÿàJFIFyyÿá=-ExifII*þ!6>(2Fi‡b¤¤¤¤Z¤&¤¤¤ ¤

    ¤ ¤ðEASTMAN KODAK COMPANYKODAK DX4530 ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA8/ 8/ 2007:10:19 01:01:54š‚ˆ�?‚�?"ˆƒ�?�?0220�?˜�?¬‘’


    �?’Ø’Š–’Œ˜ ’�?—

    ’à†’šŒ› 0100 kr € C¢è¢°ª£¸¬«£¹®­$""@`ff2007:10:18 19:28:262007:10:18 19:28:26(@€ JR(ZË9HHÿØÿÛ„ 

    "These" doesn't have an arrow next to it like links to other webpages usually do. Surely that means something.


    January 16, 2009

  • That's very odd, rolig. It works for me--I always test my links. For good measure, here it is again.

    And here's a similar one.

    However, I take issue with the assumption that the link doesn't work because the little arrow doesn't appear next to it. I almost never get the little arrow appearing next to my links, and (like I said) I test them and they work. Maybe it's a bug...?

    January 16, 2009

  • I had some trouble w/ that link too, c_b. It opened eventually, but first it made me save a file to my hard drive.

    But what a lovely spangled purse. :-)

    January 16, 2009

  • Eeew! Really?! Gosh, I don't want anyone to download stuff like that. Sorry about that. Try the second link (the one in the response comment to rolig).

    If someone wants to sneakily, privately tell me how to post an image directly on this page, I'll try that instead.

    January 16, 2009

  • The problem could be my system, C_b. Your second handbag link ("here's") worked, and it had a little arrow, but the other one ("here it is again"), sans arrow, just took me to the same gibberish.

    But the handbag I could see is a beauty, with all the colors of the Bearish rainbow!

    January 16, 2009

  • *blushes*

    I think we'll have to take up the arrow issue with John. Let me try again by editing my comment...

    Did that work? Is the image too huge? How do I fix it? If I borked the page, I'll take it down.

    I did notice that the image URL starts with HTTPS, rolig. Could that have something to do with it?

    January 16, 2009

  • Yep, now it works! Bearutiful! As far as the technical questions about https, etc., I'm hardly the right person to ask.

    January 16, 2009

  • The file gives me declares itself as an application/octet-stream, which an image file shouldn't; I'm guessing the messed-up MIME type is that site's problem.

    Would it bother people if I pointed out that Wordie declares itself to be XHTML, and therefore images are technically supposed to have a closing / as in <img="image location" alt="alt text (also technically required by the spec)" />, even if they work without? (Don't bother changing it; the page wouldn't validate anyway.)

    January 16, 2009

  • *struggles, with handbag and tiara, to compute what VO just said*

    Okay, then. Thanks for the tip on closing the image. I don't intend to use images much (if at all) here as I find them distracting myself—though occasionally a well-placed one can inspire further discussion.

    If there is a way to size them so that they're smaller than this behemoth, I'd appreciate learning how to do it.

    January 16, 2009

  • No problem here--I managed to see the photo, and sometimes Firefox at my office gets wonky. :-)

    January 16, 2009

  • I don't really recommend trying to reduce image size; squashed images can look awful without anti-aliasing to remove jagged lines, and Firefox seems to have trouble scrolling pages that contain them.

    January 16, 2009

  • Okay, point taken.

    ... It is a lovely example of spangles, wouldn't you say?

    January 16, 2009