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)

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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." Also in this family is "stridulation," a noun that can either refer to the shrill sound made when an insect stridulates or can simply mean "the act of stridulating." Another "stridulus" word is stridulatory, meaning "able to stridulate" or "used in stridulation." There's also stridulous, meaning "making a shrill creaking sound." "Stridulus" itself comes from "stridere," which is the direct source of the last word we'll mention here. 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, "Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever," 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 8 Mar. 2021.

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