Word of the Day : September 15, 2011


verb STRIJ-uh-layt


: 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."


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

Test Your Memory

What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "'In Hollywood no one does something for nothing,' said the director, adding 'there's always a ____________ involved'"? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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