crepitate was our Word of the Day on 02/15/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Crepitate comes from the Latin word crepitare, meaning "to crackle." It has been used with this meaning since the late 1820s, but it had a previous life: about 200 years prior it was used to mean "to break wind." That meaning is now obsolete, and the word has no embarrassing remnants. In addition to its general use as a synonym of crackle, crepitate also has a specific medical meaning-"to produce or experience crepitation." Crepitation here refers to a grating or crackling sound or sensation, such as that produced by the fractured ends of a bone moving against each other.
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