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

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 That mojo is palpable in new EV-centric spaces like Factory Zero and the Parking Lab, where Detroit seems to crackle with new energy. Jaclyn Trop, Fortune, 1 June 2022 Celeste Rapone’s vibrant distortions crackle with Cubist energies (Picasso, for all his fame during figuration’s dry period of the mid-to-late 20th century, never even entertained the idea of painting abstractly). Globe Staff,, 12 May 2022 Cheeseburgers and hot dogs crackle atop a grill, and Nevia eats corn on the cob, smiling and dancing in delight at first bite. Michael Fearon, The New Yorker, 4 May 2022 The problem for viewers is that the jokes don’t crackle and the silences lack subtext. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 21 Apr. 2022 Pascal matches Cage’s devotion to creating a plausible human being amid the plot’s nonstop silliness, and their scenes crackle with a playful energy. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 29 Apr. 2022 Watch all 136 minutes of the film’s hyperkinetic fragments—a case study of attention-deficit disorder—and your synapses will crackle, pop and eventually snap, exactly as they’re meant to. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 8 Apr. 2022 The woods around their house now crackle with gunfire, sometimes thousands of rounds on the weekends, seemingly more than just casual target practice. Hannah Allam, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Jan. 2022 Before indexed shifters and the ramps that help move your chain swiftly and silently from one cog to another, your drivetrain would crackle and rat-a-tat-tat like a Gene Krupa drum solo in between gears. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 17 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Then the ominous whistle and crackle of incoming shells, which landed within 50 feet of a Ukrainian tank position, sending dirt and rocks flying and shards of deadly metal slashing through the air. Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2022 Then the ominous whistle and crackle of incoming shells, which landed within 50 feet of a Ukrainian tank position, sending dirt and rocks flying and shards of deadly metal slashing through the air. Paul Sonne, Washington Post, 4 June 2022 Suggestions that the aurora—which occur in Earth’s ionosphere hundreds of miles up—come with a whistle or whizz, a crackle or hiss, can be found in accounts from Greenland, the Shetland Islands, northern Canada and Norway. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 2 June 2022 What is there to say that hasn’t been said before about our desire to unplug, to be in a place where the Wi-Fi isn’t needed and the only things competing for our attention are the crackle of a fireplace and the sounds of wildlife in the distance? Sunset Magazine, 24 May 2022 For me, there’s nothing like this moment, when the crackle of the vinyl comes through the speakers as the needle rides the grooves and the music starts filling the air. Dart Adams,, 6 May 2022 The flour tortillas, stained with birria oil, are crisped up on a griddle, adding a distinct crackle to the meaty, gooey mass stuffed inside your quesadillas. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 Individual tensions generate unexpected crackle, but everyone’s caught in the same toxic knots, their environment collapsing around them. John Domini, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2022 Crafted in Portugal, the beautifully detailed stoneware pieces feature a wide brim and rich crackle glaze. Cristina Montemayor, Men's Health, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crackle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for crackle


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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