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

  • intransitive v. To shine with slight, intermittent gleams, as distant lights or stars; flicker; glimmer. See Synonyms at flash.
  • intransitive v. To be bright or sparkling, as with merriment or delight: eyes that twinkled with joy.
  • intransitive v. To blink or wink the eyes. See Synonyms at blink.
  • intransitive v. To move about or to and fro rapidly and gracefully; flit.
  • transitive v. To emit (light) in slight, intermittent gleams.
  • n. A slight, intermittent gleam of light; a sparkling flash; a glimmer.
  • n. A sparkle of merriment or delight in the eye.
  • n. A brief interval; a twinkling.
  • n. A rapid to-and-fro movement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to shine with a flickering light; to glimmer
  • v. to be bright with delight
  • v. to bat, blink or wink the eyes
  • v. to flit to and fro
  • n. a sparkle or glimmer of light
  • n. a sparkle of delight in the eyes.
  • n. a flitting movement

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A closing or opening, or a quick motion, of the eye; a wink or sparkle of the eye.
  • n. A brief flash or gleam, esp. when rapidly repeated.
  • n. The time of a wink; a twinkling.
  • intransitive v. To open and shut the eye rapidly; to blink; to wink.
  • intransitive v. To shine with an intermitted or a broken, quavering light; to flash at intervals; to sparkle; to scintillate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shut an eye or the eyes with an involuntary twitch or with a quick voluntary and significant action; blink; wink.
  • Of the eyelids, to open and shut with frequent involuntary twitches; hence, of anything that moves rapidly, to dart to and fro.
  • To pass in and out of sight rapidly, as a light; flash at almost insensible intervals; shine with quick, irregular gleams; scintillate; sparkle, as a star.
  • To open and shut rapidly; wink; blink.
  • To emit in quick gleams; flash out.
  • To influence or charm by sparkling.
  • n. A twitching of the eyelid; a blinking; a wink.
  • n. A quick, tremulous light; a glimmer; a sparkle; a flash.
  • n. The time required for a wink; a twinkling.

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

  • v. emit or reflect light in a flickering manner
  • n. a rapid change in brightness; a brief spark or flash
  • v. gleam or glow intermittently
  • n. merriment expressed by a brightness or gleam or animation of countenance


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

Middle English twinklen, from Old English twinclian, frequentative of twincan, to blink.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old English twinclian


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