Definition of spangle in US English:



  • 1A small thin piece of glittering material, typically used in quantity to ornament a dress; a sequin.

    • ‘And the costumes: They can't have too many spangles.’
    • ‘You will need two tissues: one to wipe your eyes, and one to mop up the spangle.’
    • ‘A galaxy of spangles and silver coins glitters across each back.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Still, it is now more than 20 years since Abba hung up their spangles.’
    • ‘Dignity is overrated, especially when surrounded by so much spangle and sequin.’
    • ‘Tall of body, long of leg, blonde of hair, heavy of spangles, she stepped right out with a megawatt grin and a snappy prance.’
    ornament, trinket, bauble, knick-knack, gimcrack, doodah, gewgaw, folderol, fandangle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A small sparkling object; a spot of bright color or light.
      • ‘He turned the image, held it six inches from my face while I examined the spangle of reflected light.’


[with object]usually as adjective spangled
  • Cover with spangles or other small sparkling objects.

    ‘a spangled Christmas doll’
    • ‘His compendious book ranges from dry speculation on geology to exquisite description of flora, spangled with remarkably apt epigrams.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her gown was black, spangled with diamonds, giving it the appearance of the sky on a clear night.’
    • ‘People sitting in the big top were in trances, distracted by the cracking of peanut hulls and dazzled by spangled spandex wardrobes.’
    • ‘That future may seem bleak if you don't look good in spangled bustiers and hot pants.’
    • ‘The moonlit night was cool, almost chill, clear, spangled with stars, and no longer soaked with rain.’
    shine, sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, flicker, blink, wink, catch the light, flash
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: diminutive from obsolete spang ‘glittering ornament’, from Middle Dutch spange ‘buckle’.