v. twin·kled, twin·kling, twin·kles
1. To shine with slight, intermittent gleams, as distant lights or stars; flicker; glimmer. See Synonyms at flash.
2. To be bright or sparkling, as with merriment or delight: eyes that twinkled with joy.
3. To blink or wink the eyes.
4. To move about or to and fro rapidly and gracefully; flit.
To emit (light) in slight, intermittent gleams.
1. A slight, intermittent gleam of light; a sparkling flash; a glimmer.
2. A sparkle of merriment or delight in the eye.
3. A brief interval; a twinkling.
4. A rapid to-and-fro movement.
[Middle English twinklen, from Old English twinclian, frequentative of twincan, to blink.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.