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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Scintilla \Scin*til"la\, n. [L.] A spark; the least particle; an iota; a tittle.
--R. North.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1690s, "spark, glimmer," hence "least particle, trace," from figurative use of Latin scintilla "particle of fire, spark, glittering speck, atom," probably from PIE *ski-nto-, from root *skai- "to shine, to gleam" (cognates: Gothic skeinan, Old English scinan "to shine;" see shine (v.)).


n. 1 A small spark or flash. 2 A small or trace amount.

  1. n. a tiny or scarcely detectable amount [syn: shred, whit, iota, tittle, smidgen, smidgeon, smidgin, smidge]

  2. a sparkling glittering particles


Scintilla (the Italian and Latin word for spark) may refer to:

  • Scintilla (comics), a fictional character in the Marvel Universe
  • Scintilla (editing component), an open-source code-editing component
  • Scintilla (communist group), a clandestine 1940s Italian anti-fascist network
Scintilla (software)

Scintilla is a free open source library that provides a text editing component function, with an emphasis on advanced features for source code editing. SciTE ( cross-platform, developed by the same author), Geany (cross-platform), Notepad++ ( Windows), Programmer's Notepad (Windows) and Notepad2 (Windows) are examples of standalone text editors based on Scintilla.

Scintilla (communist group)

Scintilla was a communist circle created in Rome in 1940, as one of a number of attempts to refound the Communist Party of Italy (PCd'I) banned since 1926. Most of its leaders would later contribute to creating the dissident-communist Movimento Comunista d'Italia, largest formation of the Italian Resistance in Rome.

It issued two issues of a newsletter, and brought together a number of former communist and anarchist militants working in post, rail and other sectors. The organisation was smashed by Roman police in December 1942, only to resurface in the liberalisation period following Pietro Badoglio's 25 July 1943 coup against Benito Mussolini.

Leading members of Scintilla included Tigrino Sabatini (executed 3 May 1944), a veteran of the PCd’I and Arditi del Popolo; the youthful San Lorenzo carpenter Orfeo Mucci, son of an anarchist bakers’ union leader; the cobbler Ezio Lombardi (executed 24 March 1944), a 1920s organiser of the Rome PCd’I who had been expelled from a confino organisation on ‘security grounds’ in 1930; the septuagenarian lawyer Raffaele de Luca, a former anarchist who served as Socialist mayor of Paola in 1921 before joining the PCd’I; the postman Ernesto Sansone (who died at a German prison camp after his November 1943 deportation); the Christian-socialist graphic designer Francesco Cretara, who was later co-editor of Bandiera Rossa; the florist Agostino Raponi, a veteran Communist from the Abruzzo region who joined Togliatti’s PCI in prison after his December 1942 arrest; the Socialist statistician Pietro Bàttara; the grenadier captain Aladino Govoni (executed 24 March 1944),1 whose father was a futurist poet; and Socialist journalist Ezio Villani. Scintilla’s only female member, Anna-Maria Enriques (executed 12 June 1944 in Florence) was a Christian-socialist sacked from her job at the Tuscan capital’s state archives in 1938 because her father was Jewish.

Usage examples of "scintilla".

Dad said later that Scintilla had been a truly great fighter for the cause but his drive had left him when they eradicated his best friend and partner.

There was a way in which she isolated a digit for sharp regard, using a magnifier and a square of dark cardboard, and there were hangnails flying and shreds and grains of dead skin and fragments of nail, scintillas, springing in the air.

Warm scintillas of light reflected off tall glasses and cutlery set around the long table, and cedar panelling, studded with silver buttons, on the walls and central square column lent a soft ambience to the proceedings.

But there is no scintilla of doubt that the inestimable Master Cawdor will be here with us in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Here she was going through all these mental gymnastics, and for all she knew, he didn't feel the tiniest scintilla of attraction for her.

And he held her close, and she knew that whatever trials lay ahead of them, she would face them at his side, unafraid and filled with a sense of determination that came of knowing, without the faintest scintilla of a doubt, that the path she had chosen was the right one, the one she had been born to follow.

If you would best use these reconstituted snippets and scintillae of your lives, I urge you to hold up the realities portrayed here to the mirror of fantasy.

But persist he did, and at length was reward with scintillae like unto those I had made.

The smears, smudges, underlinings, and ossified toast scintillae left by their previous owners may strike daintier readers as a little icky, like secondhand underwear.

A pair of the glittering scintillae, the crimson and the gold, attended the twitching android.

It sits there admiring itself, without a scintilla of self-criticism, unable to look at hard troths along that highway.