strid·​u·​late | \ ˈstri-jə-ˌlāt How to pronounce stridulate (audio) \
stridulated; stridulating

Definition of stridulate

intransitive verb

: to make a shrill creaking noise by rubbing together special bodily structures used especially of male insects (such as crickets or grasshoppers)

Other Words from stridulate

stridulation \ ˌstri-​jə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce stridulate (audio) \ noun
stridulatory \ ˈstri-​jə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce stridulate (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

Stridulate is one member of a word family that has its ancestry in the Latin word stridulus, meaning "shrill." The word alludes to the sharp, high-pitched sound that is produced by a number of insects—particularly crickets and grasshoppers but also certain beetles—as well as other animals, usually as a mating call or a signal of territorial behavior. Stridulus comes from stridere, which is the direct source of our noun stridor, a word found in medical dictionaries. Stridor means "a harsh, shrill, or creaking noise" and also "a harsh vibrating sound heard during respiration in cases of obstruction of the air passages."

Examples of stridulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Decrepit, senile, and miserable, Tithonus eventually shrank into a cicada who stridulated ceaselessly, calling out for release. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 24 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stridulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stridulate

1838, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stridulate

back-formation from stridulation, from French, high-pitched sound, from Latin stridulus shrill

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The first known use of stridulate was in 1838

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Cite this Entry

“Stridulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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