ripple (v.)

early 15c., riplen, "to crease, wrinkle;" 1660s, "to present a ruffled surface," of obscure origin, perhaps a frequentative of rip (v.), and compare rip (n.2) and rumple. Transitive sense, in reference to the surface of water, "cause to ripple, agitate lightly," is from 1786. Related: Rippled; rippling.

ripple (n.)

"very small wave," 1798, from earlier meaning "stretch of shallow, rippling water" (1755), from ripple (v.). The meaning "light ruffling of the surface suggestive of a ripple" is from 1843.

The meaning "ice cream streaked with colored syrup" is attested by 1939, so called from its appearance. In reference to the ripple-rings in water from a cast stone, by 1884. (Chaucer, late 14c., used roundel "a little circle" for that.) As the name of a brand of inexpensive wine sold by E&J Gallo Winery, from 1960 to 1984. In geology, ripple-mark "wavy surface on sand formed by wind or water" is by 1833. Ripple effect "continuous spreading results of an event or action" is from 1950.

updated on October 05, 2021