[krak-uh l]

verb (used without object), crack·led, crack·ling.

verb (used with object), crack·led, crack·ling.


Origin of crackle

First recorded in 1490–1500; crack + -le Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



to make or cause to make a series of slight sharp noises, as of paper being crushed or of a wood fire burning
(tr) to decorate (porcelain or pottery) by causing a fine network of cracks to appear in the glaze
(intr) to abound in vivacity or energy


the act or sound of crackling
intentional crazing in the glaze of a piece of porcelain or pottery
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