from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To rain gently in fine, mistlike drops.
  • transitive v. To let fall in fine drops or particles: drizzled melted butter over the asparagus.
  • transitive v. To moisten with fine drops: drizzled the asparagus with melted butter.
  • n. A fine, gentle, misty rain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To rain lightly.
  • v. To pour slowly and evenly, especially with oil in cooking.
  • v. To urinate.
  • n. Light rain.
  • n. . Very small, numerous, and uniformly dispersed water drops, mist, or sprinkle. Unlike fog droplets, drizzle falls to the ground. It is sometimes accompanied by low visibility and fog.
  • n. Water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fine rain or mist.
  • intransitive v. To rain slightly in very small drops; to fall, as water from the clouds, slowly and in fine particles
  • transitive v. To shed slowly in minute drops or particles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fall, as water from the clouds, in very fine particles; rain in small drops: as, it drizzles; drizzling drops; drizzling rain.
  • To shed in small drops or particles.
  • n. A light rain; mizzle; mist.
  • n. A local English name of the young ling. Also called ling-drizzle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. rain lightly
  • v. moisten with fine drops
  • n. very light rain; stronger than mist but less than a shower


Perhaps from Middle English drisning, fall of dew, from Old English -drysnian, in gedrysnian, to pass away, vanish; see dhreu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps a back-formation from dryseling, a dissimilated variant of Middle English drysning ("a falling of dew"), from Old English drysnan ("to extinguish"), related to Old English drēosan ("to fall, to decline"), making it cognate to modern English droze and drowse. (Wiktionary)



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  • 1543, alteration of drysning.

    June 27, 2007