• WordNet 3.6
    • n decrepitation the crackling or breaking up of certain crystals when they are heated
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Decrepitation The act of decrepitating; a crackling noise, such as salt makes when roasting.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n decrepitation The act of snapping or bursting with a crackling noise on being heated, or the crackling noise, accompanying the flying asunder of their parts, made by various salts and minerals when heated. It is caused by the unequal sudden expansion of their substance by the heat, or by the expansion and volatilization of water or other liquid held mechanically within them.
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  • T. S. Eliot
    “The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. décrépitation,


In literature:

For one of them, in fact, it was positively his thirtieth birthday; poor soul, how decrepitly he flitted in front of motor trucks.
"Pipefuls" by Christopher Morley
The firelight was casting its last shadows on the decrepit walls.
"The Dean's Watch" by Erckmann-Chatrian
Among such a crowd a wine-sodden and decrepit old man was not likely to attract particular attention.
"The Albert Gate Mystery" by Louis Tracy
Say, foolish man, what else can a poor, helpless, decrepit, broken-down creature like yourself do for me?
"Count Ulrich of Lindburg" by W.H.G. Kingston
Decrepit, as befits that stage.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866" by Various
Near-by a wardrobe, equally remote if more decrepit, leaned against the wall to maintain the balance jeopardized by a missing foot.
"The Flaw in the Sapphire" by Charles M. Snyder
The least decrepit of the beggars, armed with Helen's largesse of copper coin, had joined them from beneath the portico.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Then he found a decrepit bell and pulled it.
"The Man Who Lost Himself" by H. De Vere Stacpoole
Remove your unwholesomelooking person from my sight and convey the decrepit vehicle of your spirit to San Diego.
"Greener Than You Think" by Ward Moore
No matter how high may be their station, the aged and decrepit are counted a burden.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner

In poetry:

"If not—," but Count Decrepit rose,
Infirm, decayed and slim;
"I hid my title!" and her heart
Was there knocked down to him.
"Outbid" by Ellis Parker Butler
A widow--she had only one!
A puny and decrepit son;
But, day and night,
Though fretful oft, and weak and small,
A loving child, he was her all--
The Widow's Mite.
"The Widow's Mite" by Frederick Locker-Lampson
Full many a day of sunshine and of storm,
Since last we parted, both have surely known;
Thy leaves are thinned, decrepit is thy form,--
And all my cherished visions, they are flown!
"The Old Oak" by Samuel Griswold Goodrich

In news:

Decrepit bank-owned homes blight cities.
A Short History of Chicago's Beautiful, Decrepit Guyon Hotel.
Decrepit Waco animal shelter reflects poorly on city, county officials.
Who owns that decrepit block.
But Decrepit Birth makes a good case for being the perfect gateway through which the metal-phobic could enter the darkened realm — provided that the prospective listener could overlook that scary-sounding name.
Today this West African city is a slumbering and decrepit citadel at the southern edge of the Sahara, in Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world.
Decrepit Elevators, Built for Times Long Past, Torment New York Hospitals.
These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.
The ancient and decrepit institution of the Electoral College lives on.
Decrepit old buildings are now art and fashion districts with rooftop bars and galleries, while trendy weekend markets sell craft beer and fresh local produce.
As building materials are difficult to come by, many of Havana 's streets have decrepit or collapsing structures.
With a maniacal clown in a decrepit New England cemetery.
Decrepit, unsafe RivCo Jail, grafted onto downtown Riverside's Historic County Courthouse decades ago, came down this summer.
The recent vote in Catalonia in favor of independence will create more problems for economically decrepit Spain.
Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press In this June 12, 2008 photo shows the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Ore. Oregon's decrepit state hospital was made famous as the set for the classic film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".