I'm in a search of a word describing a sound of grasshoppers/cicadas. Chirr might be one, but I suspect it may be not common enough, because I didn't find much of examples in dictionaries and Collins says it is used rarely.

Stephen King is using it, but he has formed in a previous century, so it may be outdated.

He had suddenly become aware of how quiet it was no crickets chirring in the grass, no birds singing anywhere around. [From A Buick 8]

Crickets chirr. [Bag of Bones]

Also I found that people refer to it as buzzing, but I'm afraid it may be not clear enough (could be confused with bees).

I want to use it as follows:

There are fresh air and quiet chirr in the night.

Which word could be used to make it clear?

3 Answers 3



the characteristic short sharp sound especially of a small bird or insect


Chirr is a correct word but chirp is more common, in my belief.


Apologies for the graphics, but...



So chirping is the top choice, closely followed by non-specific sound. We don't need to use a special word usually, because everyone knows the sound of crickets / grasshoppers anyway (and if they didn't, the faint onomatopoeia of chirp probably wouldn't give much of a clue).

But besides chirp, sounds, noise, the top 10 "audio output from crickets" includes song, singing, music, shrilling, cry - plus stridulation and drone for grasshoppers.

Of course, the main reason you might want to know the word chirp isn't to talk about crickets, as pointed out. It's so people know what you mean when you say your cat chirped a greeting.


Chirp or chirr are possible to represent the sound, but given the example sentence neither would make it clear that you are talking about "crickets".

Instead simply say "the sound of crickets"

The air was fresh and I listened to the sound of crickets.

Or something similar. "There are fresh air and quiet chirr" is incorrect grammar (these two things are too dissimilar to form a plural phrase.)

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