Word of the Day : September 15, 2011

stridulate

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verb STRIJ-uh-layt

Definition

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

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

Lying in my tent that night, I could hear the campfire crackling and the crickets stridulating and none of the city sounds I was accustomed to.

"Water rushes and warbles over rocks, around our island in the middle of the stream. Insects stridulate in a hum almost electric." -- From an article by Ezra Kyrill Erker in the Bangkok Post, August 14, 2011



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