staticky

[ stat-i-kee ]
/ ˈstæt ɪ ki /

adjective

containing or producing static electricity.
affected by random noise due to electrical interference: staticky radio reception.

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does staticky mean?

Staticky is an adjective used to describe something that contains or creates a lot of static electricity, like hair standing on end or a place where you get a lot of electric shocks. It can also be used to describe something affected by electrical interference, such as a radio broadcast with a lot of fuzzy or crackling noises.

Static is a short way of saying static electricity, which is an electric charge that can build up on certain objects when they are rubbed together. It can also refer to electrical interference in the form of fuzzy spots on a TV or crackling sounds on the radio or a phone call.

Example: Be careful when you touch the metal handle—it’s been staticky in here, so you might get a shock.

Where does staticky come from?

Staticky is the adjective form of the noun static. Static has a lot of meanings, but it has been used to refer to static electricity since at least the 1890s. The first records of staticky describing electrical interference come from the 1920s, when radio became popular. The suffix -y is commonly used to form adjectives from nouns, but in cases where the noun ends in C, the letter K is typically added to retain the same sound (as in words like garlicky and panicky).

Static electricity is the electric charge that’s created when two nonconductors are rubbed together (literally causing electrons to rub off). This is why your hair stands up when you rub a balloon on it. When built-up static electricity is released, it can result in an electric arc—the shock you get when you touch something metal after walking across a carpet. The hair standing on end could be described as staticky, as could the air in the room where you got the shock.

In the 1800s, the term static came to be used in the emerging fields of telecommunications and electromagnetics, and things inevitably needed to be described as staticky, especially the crackling sounds in radio broadcasts caused by electrical interference. Later it was used to describe a similar type of distortion on television that typically took the form of specks on the screen.

Static is sometimes used as a slang term referring to other kinds of interference (as in The boss is giving me a lot of static about that report), so staticky may be used in a slang way to describe someone who is agitated or an action that’s intended to disrupt or frustrate.

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What are some other forms of staticky?

  • static (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with staticky

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing staticky?

 

How is staticky used in real life?

Staticky is most often used to describe hair that’s affected by static electricity or a radio broadcast that’s affected by interference.

 

 

Try using staticky!

Is staticky used correctly in the following sentence?

For some reason, this radio station gets staticky and hard to hear when I’m far away from the city—I guess the broadcast range doesn’t reach that far.

Example sentences from the Web for staticky