Credit: Patrick Hoesly, Flickr

Scintillate is an infrequently used verb which can be used in place of the word ‘sparkle’. It generally describes something which flashes or sparkles, such as night-time stars, which can shimmer, sparkle, flash, and scintillate. But it’s not just stars that can scintillate; bright lights and fire can, and even the sun, if you dared to look directly at it. Anything that shines brightly and appears to twinkle can be described as scintillating, and the word can even be used as a metaphor to describe something¬† brilliant and lively; for instance, a football match can be described as being a scintillating game. A conversation can also be scintillating, especially if it’s stimulating or witty.

The word is often mispronounced due to its silent ‘c’; it is not SKIN-tillate, but instead SIN-tillate, with the latter part being pronounced the same way as the word ‘late’. Pronunciation: SIN-TILL-LATE.

Ability to seamlessly incorporate into every-day writing: 8/10 (very easy)

Example of use:
The view across the river looked out on a multitude of scintillating lights, each casting a shimmering reflection in the inky black below.

Credit: brooklyn_museum, Flickr

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