Crepitate

Crepitate

ˈkrepəˌtāt

Verb

  • Make a crackling sound.

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Example Sentences

“The fallen leaves crepitate under Samuel’s feet as he runs through the woods.”

“I could practically hear electricity crepitating beneath my fingers when I touched the plasma ball at the science museum.”

“Lisa relished how the fire crepitated as more logs were thrown on.”

Word Origin

Latin, early 17th century

Why this word?

When “crepitate” was first used in the early 17th century, it meant “to break wind.” That embarrassing meaning has since disappeared, but the roots remain the same: The word comes from the Latin “crepitat-” (“crackled, rustled”), which in turn developed from the Latin verbs “crepitare” and “crepare” (“to rattle”). One of the most recognizable and celebrated crackling sounds is the way Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal crepitates when milk is poured over it. The sounds were such a hallmark of the cereal, in fact, that Kellogg’s quickly turned them into a slogan. The phrase “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” first appeared in radio jingles in 1932. One year later, artist Vernon Grant drew the embodiment of these words with three playful elves, modern versions of which can still be seen on Rice Krispies cereal boxes.

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