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 The result is a pizza crust with just the right amount of chew and crackle. Elyse Inamine, Bon Appétit, "Everything About Brandoni Pepperoni’s Pizzas Scream Los Angeles," 26 Mar. 2021 Short wands of fried phyllo stuffed with chopped mushrooms and earthy snails crackle in the mouth. Washington Post, "A reopened Marcel’s reminds me that fine dining, especially now, is about more than food," 6 Nov. 2020 Most of the songs on Daddy’s Home were done in the first take; here, those live moments crackle with electricity, like the back-and-forth ad-libbed between Clark and her backup singers. Justin Curto, Vulture, "On ‘Pay Your Way in Pain,’ St. Vincent Is Fully a Rock Star," 9 Mar. 2021 The waters of the fjords of Svalbard—the Arctic archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole—are known to snap, crackle and pop with the sound of melting icebergs and glaciers. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "How Fast Are Glaciers Melting? Just Listen to Them," 29 May 2018 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As churchgoers gathered in his father’s church on November 30th, the familiar murmur of prayer was replaced by the crackle of gunfire. The Economist, "Soldiers have killed hundreds of civilians in Tigray," 27 Feb. 2021 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

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

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crackle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 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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