• synonyms


verb (used with object), de·crep·i·tat·ed, de·crep·i·tat·ing.
  1. to roast or calcine (salt, minerals, etc.) so as to cause crackling or until crackling ceases.
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verb (used without object), de·crep·i·tat·ed, de·crep·i·tat·ing.
  1. to break up when exposed to heat.
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Origin of decrepitate

1640–50; < New Latin dēcrepitātus crackled, past participle of dēcrepitāre, equivalent to Latin dē- de- + crepitāre to crackle (frequentative of crepāre to crack); see -ate1
Related formsde·crep·i·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decrepitation

Historical Examples of decrepitation

  • Decrepitation is the crackling of a substance due to the sudden expansion of combined water upon heating.

    The Elements of Blowpipe Analysis

    Frederick Hutton Getman

  • Moreover, there is no comparison, as to the effects, between the decrepitation of Sea-salt and the fulmination of Gold.

  • Whilst heating this sand upon platinum, decrepitation was audible, which indicated the cracking of some of the little pebbles.

British Dictionary definitions for decrepitation


  1. (tr) to heat (a substance, such as a salt) until it emits a crackling sound or until this sound stops
  2. (intr) (esp of a salt) to crackle, as while being heated
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Derived Formsdecrepitation, noun

Word Origin for decrepitate

C17: from New Latin dēcrepitāre, from Latin crepitāre to crackle, from crepāre to creak
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