trickle

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trickle away

[for a liquid] to seep or dribble away. All the water trickled away down the drain. After the last of the spilled milk had trickled away, Timmy began to cry.
See also: away, trickle

trickle down

 (to someone or something)
1. Lit. [for a liquid] to seep or dribble downward to reach someone or something. The water trickled down the wall to the floor. It trickled down very slowly.
2. Fig. [for something] to be distributed to someone or something in little bits at a time. The results of the improved economy trickled down to people at lower-income levels. Information about what happened finally trickled down to me.
See also: down, trickle

trickle in

 (to something)
1. Lit. [for a liquid] to seep or dribble into something or a place. Some of the rainwater trickled into my car through a leak. It trickled in during the night.
2. Fig. [for someone or something] to come into something or a place, a few at a time. The audience trickled into the hall little by little. They trickled in over a period of an hour or more.
See also: trickle

trickle out

 (of something)
1. Lit. [for a liquid] to leak or dribble out of something or a place. The oil trickled out of the engine little by little. It trickled out and made a puddle on the floor.
2. Fig. [for someone or something] to go out of something or a place, a few at a time. The dissatisfied members of the audience trickled out of the theater three and four at a time. They trickled out as the evening wore on.
See also: out, trickle

trickle through

 (something)
1. Lit. [for a liquid] to seep through something. The water trickled through the cracked windowpane. They taped the glass, but the water trickled through anyway.
2. Fig. [for someone or something] to move through something little by little. The people trickled through the door into the store in far smaller numbers than we had expected. They trickled through very slowly.
See also: trickle

trickle down

v.
To diffuse downward through some hierarchical structure: The sociology professor believed that money rarely trickles down from the owners of capital to the workers who toil in the factories.
See also: down, trickle
References in classic literature ?
Following the path backwards, we picked out another spot, where a spring trickled across it.
I read at the time I have just been speaking of, nearly all the new poetry as it came out, and I constantly recurred to it in its mossier sources, where it sprang from the green English ground, or trickled from the antique urns of Italy.
The poor animal had its face covered with both its front paws and was crying so bitterly that the tears coursed down its cheeks in two tiny streams and trickled across the road, where they formed a pool in a small hollow.
After walking a long time they came to a little brook that trickled across the path, and here Ojo sat down to rest and eat something from his basket.
A tiny rivulet of cold water trickled outward from the opening.
A tiny stream from Kilimanjaro's eternal snow cap still trickled over the edge of the rocky wall at the upper end of the gulch, forming a little pool at the bottom of the cliff from which a small rivulet wound downward to the tunnel through which it passed to the gorge beyond.
What with the rain and the wind, she was in a sad condition; the water trickled down from her hair, and her clothes clung to her body.
He drained the glass suddenly and collapsed in his chair, blinking his eyes across at the wedded couple while tears trickled unheeded down his cheeks.
In fact the opposite has happened and money has trickled up.
X Factor auditions at the E | | CHO Arena, Liverpool, but you would never know it, inset, right, as the number of show hopefuls trickled in Pictures: JASON ROBERTS
All it has produced is a trickle and we are tired of getting trickled on," Engel said.
It may be that Freud has finally trickled down to small-town America, so people are alert to sexual innuendo, whether real or imagined, that would have blown over their heads a generation or two ago.
Besides, I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being trickled on.
The ball trickled under his glove, Anderson slipped awkwardly, and the ball rolled to the wall, enabling four runs to score, giving the Royals a seemingly insurmountable 8-3 lead.