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Definition: The act of scintillating, sparkling; a brilliant display of wit; the twinkling of stars


Dated back to the 1620’s, Latin scintilla meant the practice of fire, spark, a glittering speck or an atom. The verb scintillate, stemming from scintillates is to sparkle. Here we are discussing the noun of action which first received its figurative sense 50 years later, in the 1690’s.

Why this word?

It is, originally, an astronomy related term describing the rapid variation in the light of a celestial body caused by turbulence in the earth’s atmosphere; but to the same extent we can also simply say- twinkling.

Figuratively thought, it is much more than twinkling. Imagine the dark skies, the endlessness, the monotonous blackness of the night. What turns it from the above to the beautiful living creature that the night is, are the shimmering starts. People, individuals, whose thoughts and characters are scintillating, vary from the others, from the endless black night by that exactly.

If the sparkling of starts had a sound, I believe it would sound as this beautiful world. Imagined onomatopoeia.

How to use scintillation?

Next time someone’s words bright your thoughts, change your views or surprise you- this is the word you should use.

Your scintillating idea shaped my point of view

Her scintillating character made her into the public speaker she was

You absolutely scintillated in class today


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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