• WordNet 3.6
    • adj twinkling shining intermittently with a sparkling light "twinkling stars"
    • n twinkling a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat) "if I had the chance I'd do it in a flash"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The name of the famous snack "Twinkies" was invented by seeing a billboard in St. Louis, that said "Twinkle Toe Shoes."
    • Twinkling A shining with intermitted light; a scintillation; a sparkling; as, the twinkling of the stars.
    • Twinkling The act of one who, or of that which, twinkles; a quick movement of the eye; a wink; a twinkle.
    • Twinkling The time of a wink; a moment; an instant. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, . . . the dead shall be raised incorruptible."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n twinkling The act of one who or that which twinkles; especially, a quick twitching or fluttering movement of the eye; a wink.
    • n twinkling The phenomenon of scintillation of the fixed stars, consisting of fluctuations of light and of color at the rate of from fifty to a hundred per second. ; The fluctuations of light did not escape the notice of the ancients; those of color were noticed by Robert Hooke in 1665. The phenomenon was, without any reason at all, generally supposed to have its origin in the eye, until William Nicholson, the chemist, showed in 1813 that, if the image of a twinkling star was stretched out into a ribbon by an irregular movement of the telescope, the fluctuations would appear as variations of light and color along this ribbon. Charles Dufour, in 1856, published the following generalizations of his observations, now known as Dufour's laws:
    • n twinkling The time required for one twinkle or wink, as of the eye; a flash; hence, a very short time.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Twinkling a quick motion of the eye: the time occupied by a wink: an instant: the scintillation of the fixed stars
    • ***


In the twinkling of an eye - If something happens in the twinkling of an eye, it happens very quickly.
Twinkling of an eye - If something happens in the twinkling of an eye, it happens very quickly.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. twinclian.


In literature:

A suspicious twinkle lurked beneath them.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
His eyes were full of twinkles.
"Fairy Prince and Other Stories" by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
Her eyes were dark gray, with little golden lights playing in them; they seemed fairly to twinkle when she laughed.
"The Girl from Sunset Ranch" by Amy Bell Marlowe
The twinkle in his eyes and the hearty genuineness of his greeting are irresistible.
"A Village of Vagabonds" by F. Berkeley Smith
In a twinkling Watson and Macgreggor were at his side, straining their ears.
"Chasing an Iron Horse" by Edward Robins
Then he stopped, and when he drew a key from an inner pocket Hetty saw something twinkle in the moonlight at his belt.
"The Cattle-Baron's Daughter" by Harold Bindloss
Conversation was a labor to Rube; a twinkling look of his deep-set eyes, and an expressive grunt generally contented him.
"The Watchers of the Plains" by Ridgewell Cullum
But Hal was up in a twinkling.
"Uncle Sam's Boys in the Ranks" by H. Irving Hancock
Here and there a light twinkled from the farm-houses of the valley.
"'Lizbeth of the Dale" by Marian Keith
The grey face had lighted with a sweet, sad smile; the faded eyes, under the bushy brows, twinkled welcome.
"Rose O'Paradise" by Grace Miller White

In poetry:

When the blazing sun is set,
And the grass with dew is wet,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
"The Star" by Jane Taylor
Day after day the far white sails
Come up and glimmer and die,
And night by night the twinkling lights
Crawl down the distant sky.
"The Derelict" by Charles Hamilton Musgrove
Branch of May! the dews of morning
Twinkle on thy leaves, adorning
The pearly blooms that richly cluster
On each spray with sparkling lustre.
"The May Flower" by Janet Hamilton
Bring flowers, the latest colours of the earth,
Ere nun-like frost
Lay her hard hand upon this rainbow mirth,
With twinkling emerald crossed.
"Chillingham" by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
On the dark blue vault of heaven,
Where the loveliest stars are twinkling,
Oh, that I might press my kisses,
Wildly press with stormy weeping!
"The North Sea -- First Cycle" by Heinrich Heine
I saw the twinkle of white feet,
I saw the flush of robes descending;
Before her ran an influence fleet,
That bowed my heart like barley bending.
"Hebe" by James Russell Lowell

In news:

Anytime Trevor was upset, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" usually did the trick.
Stars twinkle as Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit up.
Twinkle's Kitchen Spicy Cranberry Salsa (LIN Media/Twinkle VanWinkle).
Roy wasn't even a twinkle in my eye when 9/11 hit.
Check out more fashion, beauty and health from Twinkle on
A few stars may be visible above, but the really breathtaking view is of Paris's twinkling lights—188 feet below your skates .
Wardrobe Fall skin care tips (via Twinkle VanWinkle on ).
The twinkling of an eye.
You'd know the face of your Valentine anywhere--those twinkling eyes and crooked smile are only two of the features that help you pick out your one-and-only from the faces in the crowd.
Bristol Motor Speedway will soon be twinkling with millions of lights, in about two weeks cars will begin touring the annual Speedway In Lights show.
Watch closely those women who walk the stands of Farmer's Markets, praise and twinkling in their eyes.
Ewing sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for her talent.
David Letterman had one before Conan was even a twinkle in NBC's eye.
Dec 01, 2008 — Billy Twinkle : Requiem for a Golden Boy runs in the Studio at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa through December 6.
Get makeup inspired by the Twinkle fashion show.

In science:

Strong fluctuations of the magnetic fields result in an intermittent, twinkling appearance of synchrotron X-ray images even if the electron distribution is steady.
Multiwavelength Astronomy and CTA: X-rays
This makes it appear that a fuzzy quantum particle has entered the system, much as a star appears to twinkle in the night sky.
The quantum vacuum, fractal geometry, and the quest for a new theory of gravity
There is a large literature on light-intensity fluctuations in twinkling starlight, and other cases of propagation through random media.
Caustics in turbulent aerosols
Density fluctuations in the Earth’s atmosphere lead to the twinkling of stars (”scintillation” in astronomer’s terminology).
Stochastic Spacetime and Brownian Motion of Test Particles
Thus distant ob jects would appear to “twinkle” when seen through a gravitational field with a fluctuating Ricci tensor.
Stochastic Spacetime and Brownian Motion of Test Particles