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1. Of a liquid, to flow or seep downward in drops or a thin stream. As the ice cream melted, it began tricking down Billy's arm. After dropping the jug, he just watched helplessly as all the wine trickled down the steps of the porch.
2. To distribute, pass, or diffuse to people lower on a hierarchical structure. The famous economical model posits that, should the wealthy be allowed to make as much money as possible, it will trickle down to everyone else in society. You're deluding yourself if you think power within the company is going to trickle down to you just because you're regional manager now.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.