crack·​le | \ ˈkra-kəl How to pronounce crackle (audio) \
crackled; crackling\ ˈkra-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce crackling (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 Marked by booming cannon and crackling rifles, the festival and re-enactment held in La Porte could always be counted on to draw tens of thousands to celebrate the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto that led to Texas independence. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "ITC fire cast long shadow over Deer Park during year," 23 Dec. 2019 Later, there’s a tease of a new love interest, but even in divorce court, the chemistry between Midge and Joel crackles. Michele Corriston,, "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 Is Here! Are Midge and Joel Back Together?," 6 Dec. 2019 Enter The Beast of Beswick, a Regency-era take on Beauty and the Beast with some serious heat and crackling banter. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: Five new romances tackle the struggle to feel deserving of love," 3 Dec. 2019 Now pull on a flannel, get your fireplace crackling and enjoy this breakfast as cake. Becky Krystal, The Denver Post, "How do pancakes and maple syrup get more exciting? Turn them into a cake.," 23 Oct. 2019 Anger crackles in the air, looking for somewhere to ground., "She feeds Bel-Air’s mega-mansion boom. But lunch is a battlefield," 13 Nov. 2019 Those joyous events happened in other places — and the Coliseum Arena/Oracle Arena still crackled with vibrancy and electricity. Ron Kroichick,, "Warriors fans reluctantly accept new reality without Stephen Curry," 1 Nov. 2019 Isaac Toup, with 300 years of Cajun Louisiana roots beneath him, has two restaurants in the city, Toups South and Toups Meatery, for authentically rich dishes: smoked duck, blood sausage, crackling, and gumbo. Timothy O'grady, Condé Nast Traveler, "In New Orleans, Life Is at Full Blast," 14 Oct. 2019 The husbands on older series such as Married... with Children, The King of Queens, and even Everybody Loves Raymond seemed to crackle with one-sided resentment toward their beautiful-but-annoying wives. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Sweetly Subversive Marriage at the Core of Schitt’s Creek," 21 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When a searing flash of lightning crackles through the sky, some spectators marvel at its brilliance, while others duck for cover. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Massive Lightning Strike May Have Inspired This Scottish Stone Circle," 31 Dec. 2019 The less formal Obama photo from 2011 crackles with suspense as the president’s team monitors the raid where Navy Seals killed bin Laden in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Aamer Madhani, Twin Cities, "Situation Room: 2 photos capture vastly different presidents," 27 Oct. 2019 The less formal Obama photo from 2011 crackles with suspense as the president’s team monitors the raid where Navy Seals killed bin Laden in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Washington Post, "Situation Room: 2 photos capture vastly different presidents," 27 Oct. 2019 But what really piqued my interest was that telltale crunch-crunch-squish-crackle of the sandwich. Soleil Ho,, "The best sandwich in the Bay Area is ... vegan!," 7 Oct. 2019 They were announced in advance by a rumble that rose to a clap together with the crackle of lightning bolts. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Bonnie Blodgett: Gardeners are stewards not just in summer but all year long," 8 Dec. 2019 Healthy coral reefs are remarkably noisy places -- the crackle of snapping shrimp and the whoops and grunts of fish combine to form a dazzling biological soundscape. Dominic Rech, CNN, "Scientists used speakers to make dead coral reefs sound healthy. The fish came back," 2 Dec. 2019 Like the crackle of some endless small-arms engagement. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Ode to the Letters of Hunter S. Thompson," 10 Nov. 2019 The movie becomes a reverie shrouded in cigarette smoke (one character expounds on the merits of Winstons versus Marlboros) and the sound of the outdoors: insects, the crackle of a distant cane field, smoldering. Michael Phillips,, "At Facets: ‘Burning Cane,’ a sweet ‘n sour Louisiana story from an auspicious teenage filmmaker," 22 Oct. 2019

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

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crackle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for crackle


How to pronounce crackle (audio)

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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on crackle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crackle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with crackle

Spanish Central: Translation of crackle

Nglish: Translation of crackle for Spanish Speakers

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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