One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a solid, especially a crystal) disintegrate audibly when heated.
sizzle, crackle, fizz, hiss, spit, sputter, crack, snapView synonyms
- ‘The rock is so thoroughly altered it decrepitates on exposure to the atmosphere.’
- ‘On heating in a closed tube it decrepitates slightly, blackens and gives off water having an alkaline reaction.’
- ‘The concentrate must expand to a high degree without decrepitating, and the expanded particles must be strong enough to withstand handling.’
- ‘Furthermore, much marcasite is highly unstable when exposed to the atmosphere and decrepitates quickly.’
- ‘Some pyrrhotite is relatively unstable in humid environments, decrepitating like pyrite.’
Mid 17th century: from de- ‘away’ + Latin crepitat- ‘crackled’, from the verb crepitare, frequentative of crepare ‘rattle’ (see decrepit).
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