intransitive verb-·tled, -·tling
- to talk idly; chatter; gossip
- to reveal other people's secrets; tell tales
- to inform against someone
Origin of tattleLate Middle English tattlen, probably from Middle Dutch tatelen, of echoic origin, originally
verbtat·tled, tat·tling, tat·tles
- To reveal the plans or activities of another, especially ones that are secret or improper: tattled on his sister when she snuck out; tattled to his parents about what his sister did.
- To chatter; prate.
- Idle talk; chatter; prattle.
- A tattletale.
Origin of tattleMiddle English tatelen to stammer probably from Middle Dutch of imitative origin
(third-person singular simple present tattles, present participle tattling, simple past and past participle tattled)
Likely akin to M.Du., M.L.G., E.Fris. tateren - "to chatter, babble", possibly of imitative origin. Attested in 1481, in William Caxton's translation of "The History of Reynard the Fox" in the sense "to stutter", probably borrowed from Middle Dutch.