crack·​le | \ ˈkra-kəl How to pronounce crackle (audio) \
crackled; crackling\ ˈkra-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce crackle (audio) \

Definition of crackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to make small sharp sudden repeated noises the fire crackles on the hearth
b : to show animation : sparkle the essays crackle with wit

transitive verb

: to crush or crack with snapping noises



Definition of crackle (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the noise of repeated small cracks or reports
2 : a network of fine cracks on an otherwise smooth surface

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Other Words from crackle


cracklingly adverb

Examples of crackle in a Sentence

Verb The logs crackled in the fire. The leaves crackled under our feet.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When a shot rang out, everything went silent waiting for the radios to crackle. Tom Keer, Outdoor Life, "These December Deer Drive Tactics Will Save Your Season," 14 Dec. 2020 After a while, the beans begin to crackle and take on a shiny, medium brown color, the coffee smell mixing with the traditional incense burned during the ceremony. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "'Coffee is everything' for this immigrant duo running Louisville's new Ethiopian cafe," 14 Oct. 2020 The bakery makes beautiful bread, like country loaves with deep, dark seams splitting their crusts or toasty-crisp baguettes that seem to crackle just looking at them. Ian Mcnulty,, "Bellegarde Bakery reopens, returning unique piece of New Orleans food community," 2 Oct. 2020 True to its name, the natural wooden wicks crackle like a fireplace. Naveen Kumar, CNN Underscored, "From coffee to candles, the best pumpkin spice products of 2020," 24 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, the tailgating area was beginning to crackle with malice. Kent Russell, Harper's Magazine, "America’s Game," 15 Sep. 2020 The guns crackle with the clangs of 1980s weaponry, like the alpha session favorite, the AKS-74u. Washington Post, "The faster, stronger ‘Black Ops’ multiplayer returns in ‘Cold War’," 9 Sep. 2020 More mundane settings—strip malls, payday loan centers, parking-lot car washes—crackle with a realism that feels familiar and lived-in. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Prestige Drama Where Strippers Run the Show," 5 Sep. 2020 As flames crackle across California, state and federal officials have launched a plan to disrupt the cycle of wildfires that regularly choke the region with smoke and have gotten more dangerous and destructive over the years. Peter Fimrite,, "New $1 billion federal-state agreement aims to reduce California wildfire risks," 28 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jane listens to the crackle of white noise—cosmic background radiation—a faint reminder of the big bang. Seija Rankin,, "Read Charles Yu's first work of fiction since the National Book Award-winning Interior Chinatown," 5 Jan. 2021 Then came a crackle, then the voice of astronaut Wheelock. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, "Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio," 23 Dec. 2020 The cookies will be crackle-topped and too soft to lift from the baking sheets. Paul Stephen,, "Recipe: Lemon Sugar Cookies," 9 Dec. 2020 Without anyone awake, the agency found, the crew was notified of the fire by the pop, crackle and the glow of the flames. Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, "Captain in Conception dive boat fire indicted on 34 counts of manslaughter," 1 Dec. 2020 But this is the year for those old corny albums with their crackle and pops that now seem vital. oregonlive, "Who needs holiday traditions? All of us: Tom Hallman at large," 13 Nov. 2020 The agency found that the fire was burning for at least 30 minutes before a crew member sleeping in the wheelhouse atop the three-deck boat was awakened by a pop, crackle and the glow of the flames from the middle deck. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, "NTSB faults poor oversight and lack of roving watch for Conception boat fire that killed 34," 20 Oct. 2020 Think of the roti as a big flour tortilla, only more dense and with more buttery crackle. Mike Sutter,, "3 new San Antonio restaurants — Chicken N Pickle, Mi Roti and Shifu Noodle — showcase spirit to survive coronavirus economy," 27 Aug. 2020 The fusing of Indian and British idioms are to give that constant energy and crackle that is the hallmark of Rushdie’s wilfully seductive style. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Fiction of Winners & Losers," 28 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crackle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crackle


circa 1560, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for crackle


frequentative of crack entry 1

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Time Traveler for crackle

Time Traveler

The first known use of crackle was circa 1560

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Statistics for crackle

Cite this Entry

“Crackle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for crackle



English Language Learners Definition of crackle

: to make a series of short, sharp noises


crack·​le | \ ˈkra-kəl How to pronounce crackle (audio) \
crackled; crackling

Kids Definition of crackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make many small sharp noises
2 : to form little cracks in a surface



Kids Definition of crackle (Entry 2 of 2)

: the noise of repeated small cracks (as of burning wood)

More from Merriam-Webster on crackle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crackle

Nglish: Translation of crackle for Spanish Speakers

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