scintilla sin-ˈti-lə noun
1. a tiny or scarcely detectable amount
2. a sparkling glittering particle
The word scintilla has appeared in 14 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on June 19 in “After 3 World Cup Games, England Sees Itself With a Few More to Run” by Rory Smith:
Stanway is perfectly happy to say that she hopes the other teams to have made it to the last 16 “fear” England. She would be delighted to think that none of them “want to play us.” There is no regret, not even a scintilla, that beating Japan on Wednesday night in Nice means that England — should it survive the last 16 and a quarterfinal — will find either the United States or France in its path in the semifinals. (Japan, inventive and bright without ever suggesting the presence of a cutting edge, finished second in Group D, and will now theoretically have an easier road to the final.) This is an England that believes in itself.