Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To make a rattling sound.
  • intransitive v. To move with a rattling sound: clattering along on roller skates.
  • intransitive v. To talk rapidly and noisily; chatter.
  • transitive v. To cause to make a rattling sound.
  • n. A rattling sound: the clatter of dishes in the kitchen.
  • n. A loud disturbance; a racket: the clatter of the subway train.
  • n. Noisy talk; chatter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rattling noise.
  • n. A loud disturbance.
  • n. Noisy talk or chatter.
  • v. To cause to make a rattling sound.
  • v. To make a rattling noise
  • v. To chatter noisily or rapidly.
  • v. To hit; to smack

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To make a rattling sound by striking hard bodies together; to make a succession of abrupt, rattling sounds.
  • intransitive v. To talk fast and noisily; to rattle with the tongue.
  • transitive v. To make a rattling noise with.
  • n. A rattling noise, esp. that made by the collision of hard bodies; also, any loud, abrupt sound; a repetition of abrupt sounds.
  • n. Commotion; disturbance.
  • n. Rapid, noisy talk; babble; chatter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a rattling sound; make repeated sharp, confused sounds, as when sonorous bodies strike or are struck rapidly together; rattle.
  • To talk fast and idly; chatter; rattle with the tongue.
  • To make a rattling noise with; cause to sound interruptedly by striking together, or with or against something: as, to clatter dishes or the tongs.
  • To utter glibly and in a rattling manner; tattle; chatter.
  • n. A rapid succession of sharp sounds; rattling, rapidly repeated, and confused noises.
  • n. Idle gossip; tattle.
  • n. A heap of loose boulders or broken rocks. Compare clutter.
  • n. Noisy gabble or talk; confused din of many jabbering tongues.

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

  • n. a rattling noise (often produced by rapid movement)
  • v. make a rattling sound

Etymologies

Middle English clateren, from Old English *clatrian; see gal- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • That these come unexpectedly in the midst of endless gross clatter is one of those mysteries of the creative process best not to dwell upon.

    Make an Appointment

  • It's like being at the Seneca Niagara Casino and hearing the coins clatter into the tray of a slot machine.

    The Buffalo News: Home

  • The soldiers wore the downcast, silent, and sullen looks with which they trail their arms at a funeral, and stepped with such caution that you could not hear a buckler ring or a sword clatter, though so many men in armour were moving around the tent.

    The Talisman

  • Dain let his sword clatter to the floor and ran to Moira.

    A Change of Seasons

  • The clatter was a relief to Carol after months of smug houses.

    Main Street

  • The soldiers wore the downcast, silent, and sullen looks, with which they trail their arms at a funeral, and stepped with such caution that you could not hear a buckler ring, or a sword clatter, though so many men in armour were moving around the tent.

    The Talisman

  • She liked to admire his uniform, and to hear his sword clatter as he walked.

    The Hour and the Man, An Historical Romance

  • He stepped close up to her, made a rustling with the branches, and let his sword clatter, but she moved not.

    Undine

  • The diesel clatter, which is well silenced in the rest of BMW's diesel-sipping offerings, is present not only while the engine is cold, but also during moderate accelerations, almost never letting you forget it's down there, and it won't take regular unleaded without a fight.

    The Truth About Cars

  • Depots have always had a nostalgic allure for me as I recalled the clatter of carts rolling over bricks and the image of arched ceilings over tracks.

    The Roanoke Times: Home page

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