- Rattle is a sound made by a series of sharp sounds such as chains clanging on metal or a musical instrument or baby's toy that makes noise when it is shaken.
- An example of a rattle is the sound made as dishes are unloaded from a dishwasher.
- An example of a rattle is a child's toy that is filled with beads that clatter when the toy is shaken.
- To rattle is to make a series of sharp sounds, such as metal clacking on a chain.
- An example of rattle is when dishes clatter on a tray and make sharp sounds.
- An example of rattle is when you jingle the change in your pocket and cause sharp sounds to be made.
A child's toy rattle makes a rattling sound.
intransitive verbrattled, rattling
- to make a series of sharp, short sounds in quick succession
- to go or move with such sounds: a wagon rattling over the stones
- to talk rapidly and incessantly; chatter: often with on
Origin of rattleMiddle English ratelen, probably of West Germanic echoic origin, originally , akin to German rasseln
- to cause to rattle: to rattle the handle of a door
- to utter or perform rapidly
- ☆ to confuse or upset; disconcert: to rattle a speaker with catcalls
- a quick succession of sharp, short sounds
- a rattling noise made by air passing through the mucus of a partly closed throat
- a noisy uproar; loud chatter
- a series of horny rings at the end of a rattlesnake's tail, used to produce a rattling sound
- any of these
- a device, as a baby's toy or a percussion instrument, made to rattle when shaken
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verbrat·tled, rat·tling, rat·tles
- a. To make or emit a quick succession of short percussive sounds.b. To move with such sounds: A train rattled along the track.
- To talk rapidly and at length, usually without much thought: rattled on about this and that.
- To cause to make a quick succession of short percussive sounds: rattled the dishes in the kitchen.
- To utter or perform rapidly or effortlessly: rattled off a list of complaints.
- Informal To fluster; unnerve: The accident rattled me.
- A rapid succession of short percussive sounds.
- A device, such as a baby's toy, that produces short percussive sounds.
- A rattling sound in the throat caused by obstructed breathing, especially near the time of death.
- The series of horny structures at the end of a rattlesnake's tail.
- Loud or rapid talk; chatter.
Origin of rattleMiddle English ratelen; akin to Middle Dutch ratelen and Old English hrate, hratele, a kind of plant with rattling seed capsules, all probably ultimately of imitative origin.
transitive verbrat·tled, rat·tling, rat·tles
Origin of rattleBack-formation from rattling, ratline, variant of ratline.
- (onomatopoeia) a sound made by loose objects shaking or vibrating against one another.
- I wish they would fix the rattle under my dashboard.
- A baby's toy designed to make sound when shaken, usually containing loose grains or pellets in a hollow container.
- A musical instrument that makes a rattling sound.
- (dated) Noisy, rapid talk.
- (dated) A noisy, senseless talker; a jabberer.
- A scolding; a sharp rebuke.
- (zoology) Any organ of an animal having a structure adapted to produce a rattling sound.
- The rattle of the rattlesnake is composed of the hardened terminal scales, loosened in succession, but not cast off, and modified in form so as to make a series of loose, hollow joints.
- The noise in the throat produced by the air in passing through mucus which the lungs are unable to expel; death rattle.
(third-person singular simple present rattles, present participle rattling, simple past and past participle rattled)
- (ergative) To create a rattling sound by shaking or striking.
- to rattle a chain
- Rattle the can of cat treats if you need to find Fluffy.
- (informal) To scare, startle, unsettle, or unnerve.
- The accident really rattled him.
- (intransitive) To make a rattling noise; to make noise by or from shaking.
- I wish the dashboard in my car would quit rattling.
- To drive or ride briskly, so as to make a clattering.
- We rattled along for a couple of miles.
- To make a clatter with a voice; to talk rapidly and idly; with on or away.
- She rattled on for an hour.
Verb from Middle English, either from Old English (not attested) or Middle Dutch ratelen, ultimately imitative. The noun (c. 1500) is from the verb.