One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small thin piece of glittering material, typically sewn as one of many on clothing for decoration; a sequin.‘we were dressed for the show in leotards covered with silver spangles’
ornament, trinket, bauble, knick-knack, gimcrack, doodah, gewgaw, folderol, fandangleView synonyms
- ‘Dignity is overrated, especially when surrounded by so much spangle and sequin.’
- ‘A galaxy of spangles and silver coins glitters across each back.’
- ‘And the costumes: They can't have too many spangles.’
- ‘Still, it is now more than 20 years since Abba hung up their spangles.’
- ‘Tall of body, long of leg, blonde of hair, heavy of spangles, she stepped right out with a megawatt grin and a snappy prance.’
- ‘The old boys, who fought for King and far distant country in World War Two, drink their lager beside gay Mardi Gras revellers decked out in more feathers and spangles than you could shake a stick at.’
- ‘You will need two tissues: one to wipe your eyes, and one to mop up the spangle.’
- 1.1 A spot of bright colour or light.‘the fish is spotted with spangles of colour’
- ‘He turned the image, held it six inches from my face while I examined the spangle of reflected light.’
verb[with object]usually as adjective spangled
Cover with spangles or other small sparkling objects.‘a spangled dress’
shine, sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, flicker, blink, wink, catch the light, flashView synonyms
- ‘Her gown was black, spangled with diamonds, giving it the appearance of the sky on a clear night.’
- ‘The moonlit night was cool, almost chill, clear, spangled with stars, and no longer soaked with rain.’
- ‘People sitting in the big top were in trances, distracted by the cracking of peanut hulls and dazzled by spangled spandex wardrobes.’
- ‘His compendious book ranges from dry speculation on geology to exquisite description of flora, spangled with remarkably apt epigrams.’
- ‘That future may seem bleak if you don't look good in spangled bustiers and hot pants.’
- ‘You know the story, we all know the story of Dorothy, the Kansas farm girl with the spangling red slippers, who is transported to Oz in a whirling, spiralling tornado, here depicted by the spinning of the farmhouse.’
- ‘The cape and gloves were spangled with purple glitter, as were his jester shoes and the headband of his hat, both of which had sparkling amethysts dangling from their ends instead of the usual bells.’
Late Middle English: diminutive from obsolete spang ‘glittering ornament’, from Middle Dutch spange ‘buckle’.
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