1620s, "to sparkle or twinkle," as the fixed stars do, and typically with reference to them, from Latin scintillatus, past participle of scintillare "to sparkle, glitter, gleam, flash," from scintilla "spark" (see scintilla). Figurative use is by 1751 (implied in scintillation). Related: Scintillated; scintillating.
updated on February 02, 2022
Dictionary entries near scintillate