[krak-uh l]
See more synonyms for crackle on
verb (used without object), crack·led, crack·ling.
  1. to make slight, sudden, sharp noises, rapidly repeated.
  2. to form a network of fine cracks on the surface.
  3. (of ceramic glaze) to craze.
  4. to exhibit liveliness, vibrancy, anticipation, etc.: The play crackled with wit.
verb (used with object), crack·led, crack·ling.
  1. to cause to crackle.
  2. to break with a crackling noise.
  3. to craze (ceramic glaze).
  1. the act of crackling.
  2. a crackling noise.
  3. a network of fine cracks, as in the glaze of some kinds of porcelain.
  4. crackleware.

Origin of crackle

First recorded in 1490–1500; crack + -le Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for crackle

sparkle, sound, break, snap, crinkle, crepitate, decrepitate

Examples from the Web for crackle

Contemporary Examples of crackle

Historical Examples of crackle

  • A ripping crash like the crackle of lightning in the vaulted room!

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • "Just look, it's like cardboard," continued she, making one crackle between her fingers.


    Emile Zola

  • A volley of screams and oaths from the plain answered the crackle of the Browning.

    The Solar Magnet

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • The band had stopped, and there was the distant hum of voices and the crackle of plates.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • Then they recommenced and the crackle of branches was louder than ever.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for crackle


  1. to make or cause to make a series of slight sharp noises, as of paper being crushed or of a wood fire burning
  2. (tr) to decorate (porcelain or pottery) by causing a fine network of cracks to appear in the glaze
  3. (intr) to abound in vivacity or energy
  1. the act or sound of crackling
  2. intentional crazing in the glaze of a piece of porcelain or pottery
  3. Also called: crackleware porcelain or pottery so decorated
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for crackle

mid-15c., crackelen, frequentative of cracken "to crack" (see crack (v.)). Related: Crackled; crackling. The noun is recorded from 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper