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From Medieval Latin dēcrepitō, from Latin dē- + crepitō.


  • IPA(key): /dɪˈkɹɛpɪteɪt/


decrepitate (third-person singular simple present decrepitates, present participle decrepitating, simple past and past participle decrepitated)

  1. (transitive) To roast (a salt or mineral) until it stops crackling in the fire.
    • 1646, Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Folio 2007, p. 333:
      so will it come to pass in a pot of salt, although decrepitated; and so also in a pot of Snow.
  2. (intransitive) Of salts and minerals, to crackle when heated, indicating a sudden breakdown of their particles.
    • 1837, Magazine of Popular Science, and Journal of the Useful Arts, page 77:
      It is, however, remarkable, that the greater number of bodies which decrepitate, are really anhydrous and fixed, such as sulphate of potash, sulphate of barytes, chloride of sodium, &c.
    • 1907, M. M. Pattison Muir, A History of Chemical Theories and Laws, p. 202:
      That substance was called salt, because, according to some authors, it is obtained by the action of the sun (sol) on sea-water, according to others, because it decrepitates in the fire (exsilire=to crackle and spring about).

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