From Middle English crakelen, equivalent to crack +‎ -le (frequentative suffix). The physics sense is part of a facetious sequence "snap, crackle, pop", after the mascots of Rice Krispies cereal.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɹækəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ækəl


crackle (plural crackles)

  1. A fizzing, popping sound.
    I heard a crackle from the frying pan as I was frying bacon.
    There was an annoying crackle during the phone call, due to poor connection.
  2. (pottery) A style of glaze giving the impression of many small cracks.
  3. (physics) The fifth derivative of the position vector with respect to time (after velocity, acceleration, jerk, and jounce), i.e. the rate of change of jounce.
  4. Synonym of crackling (crispy rind of roast pork)
    • 2017, Edgar Maranan, ‎Len Maranan-Goldstein, A Taste of Home: Pinoy Expats and Food Memories
      By the look on my face I must have anticipated the joy of the crackle, apparently having come to look forward to the roast pig that appeared only at gatherings such as this. I bet I asked for another piece once I was done.

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crackle (third-person singular simple present crackles, present participle crackling, simple past and past participle crackled)

  1. (intransitive) To make a fizzing, popping sound.
    a crackling fire
    • 1681, John Dryden, The Spanish Fryar: Or, the Double Discovery. [], London: [] Richard Tonson and Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 6484883, (please specify the page number):
      the unknown ice that crackles underneath them
    • 1908 September – 1909 September, Jack London, chapter XIV, in Martin Eden, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company, published September 1909, OCLC 4052119, page 117:
      He felt the stress and strain of life, its fevers and sweats and wild insurgences—surely this was the stuff to write about! He wanted to glorify the leaders of forlorn hopes, the mad lovers, the giants that fought under stress and strain, amid terror and tragedy, making life crackle with the strength of their endeavor.


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