plural cracklings
ˈkra-k(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce crackling (audio) : a series of small sharp cracking noises
the crackling of frozen snow as we walk
\ ˈkra-​klən How to pronounce crackling (audio) , -​kliŋ \
: the crisp residue left after the rendering of lard from pig fat or the frying or roasting of pig skin
Want to know how to get perfect crisp crackling on roast pork?BBC Good Food (online)
… for me fat is a largely a textural pleasure, … and pork crackling is surely the supreme example of this: a blistered top, as dry and crunchy as an autumn leaf, hiding a layer of yielding, creamy fat beneath.Felicity Cloake
also : a piece of this residue
We feasted on … fresh hog cracklings from a road-side trailer north of Houston … Peter Richmond
: food or a piece of food that resembles crackling
duck cracklings
The great Simon Hopkinson, author of Roast Chicken and Other Stories, gave me—appropriately enough—a bag of chicken crackling as a present, and I pressed him for the recipe.Nigella Lawson

Examples of crackling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wood wick candles feature a wooden wick rather than the traditional cotton wick and produce a fun and festive crackling sound when burned. Michelle Rostamian, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Nov. 2023 The rumble grew into a crackling thunder a few moments later. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 18 Nov. 2023 From the crackling fireplace to the tranquil bedroom, bask in the gentle embrace of its warm white glow. Matthew Parker, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2023 The holidays are our yearly occasion to celebrate family, passing hours telling stories by the crackling fire and stewing up Grandma's recipes in the kitchen. Zoe Denenberg, Southern Living, 14 Nov. 2023 For some people, the perfect Christmas vacation involves fully leaning into winter on a snowy mountain somewhere, curled up next to a crackling fire. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 24 Sep. 2023 The result is delectably rich, spicy and sweet, with a crackling edge. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 23 Oct. 2023 Get the Recipe 05 Cracklin' Cornbread Tiny morsels of meaty pork cracklings elevate a humble buttermilk cornbread loaf to a special side, worthy of any holiday or family picnic. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 15 Oct. 2023 Keep in Mind There’s an option for a quiet crackling sound to accompany the flickering light, but it can be turned off with the remote. Maya Polton, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crackling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of crackling was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near crackling

Cite this Entry

“Crackling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a series of small sharp crackling sounds
: the crisp remainder left after the fat has been separated from the meat or skin (as of pork)
usually used in plural
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!