What is a verb to describe fluid rushing out from an opening in small amount?

"Gush out" sounds like in huge amount. "Seeps through" on the other hand lacks the force that brought the fluid out, like with in "gush".

  • 1
    Can you name any real-world examples where such a thing might occur? It seems a very odd juxtaposition of things. Normally, if the fluid is coming out with a force large enough to warrant calling it ‘rushing’, the amount of fluid does not really matter that much—it is relative. For example, blood can be gushing out from a wound, even though the entire amount of blood gushed out is minimal compared to the amount of water, say, spewed from a broken water pipe. Sep 13, 2013 at 19:03

7 Answers 7


Consider the verbs jet, spray, and stream. For example, “A fine stream of water jetted from the pinhole” implies small amounts of liquid spraying out under high pressure.


Trickle - (of a liquid) flow in a small stream.

Usage: "A solitary tear trickled down her cheek."


Spurt - A sudden short burst, as of energy, activity, or growth.

Usage: "The pus spurted onto the mirror."


For "small amount" use drip:

To fall in drops: Water is dripping from that leaky faucet.

You're right that seep (not sip) implies a passive and slow movement, with no force suggested. If you want a word for "small amounts of water rushing out", I can only think of leak. A leak does not necessarily need high pressure but it can have it:

to let a liquid, gas, light, etc., enter or escape, as through an unintended hole or crack.

If you are referring to a pressurized container with a small hole, I would recommend escaping.

The problem is that if a liquid is rushing out, it is rarely doing so in small quantities.


Dribbling or dripping

Usage: "The water is barely dribbling out of the faucet."


Squirt or stream might work depending on exact context


I like jwpat7's suggestion of stream best.

Another apt alternative is to say course meaning to run or flow swiftly as in this dictionary example:

The blood of ancient emperors courses through his veins.

course verb [I usually + adv/prep] /kɔːs/ US /kɔːrs/ formal

Definition › to flow quickly or in large amounts: Tears were coursing down his cheeks.

You could almost hear the blood coursing through her veins as she passed the finishing line.

Alternative verbs for slow movement of fluids are:




I'm surprised leak was not higher in the list. That is the word most obvious to me. I associate it with a relatively low rate of flow relative to the total volume of what is being leaked.

We paddled quickly to shore after our boat sprung a leak.

[lēk] verb (of a container or covering) accidentally lose or admit contents, especially liquid or gas, through a hole or crack

Oh. I see @terdon did mention it.

  • Since, as you mention, leak has already been mentioned, was it really worth answering? Nov 30, 2016 at 22:46
  • Yes. @terdon made drip his primary answer; leak was mine. I gave him credit for including what I considered the better answer.
    – Suncat2000
    Feb 8, 2017 at 15:05

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