Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A high-pitched chirping, grating, hissing, or squeaking sound, as male crickets and grasshoppers make by rubbing certain body parts together.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of making shrill sounds or musical notes by rubbing together certain hard parts, as is done by the males of many insects, especially by Orthoptera, such as crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts.
  • n. The noise itself.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act, process, or function of stridulating; the power of so doing, or the thin, harsh, creaking noise thus produced; a shrilling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a shrill grating or chirping noise made by some insects by rubbing body parts together

Etymologies

1838, from earlier term stridulous; from Latin strīdulus ("giving a shrill sound, creaking"), from strīdō ("utter a shrill or harsh sound; creak, shriek, grate, hiss"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Mary Ball (1812-1892) discovered the underwater stridulation of the Notonectidæ

    The Prime Minister's haiku

  • After all, where else would I be able to brag about the happiness I found in finally hearing what the defensive stridulation of a dung beetle sounds like?

    February 2005

  • His voice becomes a mere stridulation for the stating of formula; he seems deaf to all but properly enunciated problems.

    First Men in the Moon

  • Another nice little adaptive feature of H. nigriceps is that some of the quills have become modified into an organ of stridulation.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • The shrill, small voice of the sunbird is almost indistinguishable from the stridulation of one of the leaf insects, which makes its amorous noises in the evening as well as during the sunny hours.

    Last Leaves from Dunk Island

  • That he was not the only one to respond with an involuntary stridulation of shock was shown by the number of abrasive chirrups that echoed in close succession through the various individual workstations.

    Diuturnity's Dawn

  • The woods were very quiet, except for a soft scratching sound in the distance that might have been the stridulation of some insect—but Kirk immediately put that thought away; on a new planet, there was no predicting anything at all without data, and your suppositions could kill you without warning.

    Doctor’s Orders

  • Sympathetic stridulation by those of like mind momentarily filled the room with the din of a hundred improperly tuned violas.

    Dirge

  • Whistles of derision and rising stridulation threatened to drown him out, but this time the specialist would not be denied.

    Dirge

  • His feet scraped the uneven floor, and his voice, beginning with a melodic stridulation, became the voice of a child:

    The Shadow of the Torturer

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Just to provide some context: The people who are laughing have been living for decades in a department store and only emerge when the store is closed; in order not to be heard by the night watchman, they only speak in whispers, so this is how they laugh. "Evening Primrose" is a brilliant short story, and the simile, I think is wonderfully precise.

    January 28, 2008

  • Sounds like something from the Bulwer-Lytton contest!

    January 24, 2008

  • I'm trying and failing to parse that ridiculous simile. Obviously Collier spends more time in grasshopper Hades than I.

    January 24, 2008

  • Maybe they're related to uselessness. ;->

    January 24, 2008

  • Methinks Mr. Collier is trying just a leetle bit too hard here. "stridulating grasshopper ghosts ?"

    Donnez-moi un break.

    January 23, 2008

  • "Their laughter was like the stridulation of the ghosts of grasshoppers."
    – John Collier, "Evening Primrose", Fancies and Goodnights

    January 23, 2008