Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

rattle

play
verb rat·tle \ˈra-təl\

Definition of rattle

rat·tledrat·tling play \ˈrat-liŋ, ˈra-təl-iŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make a rapid succession of short sharp noises <the windows rattled in the wind>

  3. 2 :  to chatter incessantly and aimlessly

  4. 3 :  to move with a clatter or rattle; also :  to be or move about in a place or station too large or grand <rattled around the big old house>

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 :  to say, perform, or affect in a brisk lively fashion <rattled off four magnificent backhands — Kim Chapin>

  7. 2 :  to cause to make a rattling sound

  8. 3 :  rouse; specifically :  to beat (a cover) for game

  9. 4 :  to upset especially to the point of loss of poise and composure :  disturb



Origin of rattle

Middle English ratelen; akin to Middle Dutch ratel rattle


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of rattle

embarrass, discomfit, abash, disconcert, rattle mean to distress by confusing or confounding. embarrass implies some influence that impedes thought, speech, or action <embarrassed to admit that she liked the movie>. discomfit implies a hampering or frustrating accompanied by confusion <hecklers discomfited the speaker>. abash presupposes some initial self-confidence that receives a sudden check, producing shyness, shame, or a feeling of inferiority <abashed by her swift and cutting retort>. disconcert implies an upsetting of equanimity or assurance producing uncertainty or hesitancy <disconcerted by finding so many in attendance>. rattle implies an agitation that impairs thought and judgment <rattled by all the television cameras>.

Rhymes with rattle


2

rattle

noun rat·tle

Simple Definition of rattle

  • : a series of short, loud sounds

  • : a baby's toy that makes a series of short sounds when it is shaken

  • : the group of hard, loose pieces (called scales) that cover the end of a rattlesnake's tail

Full Definition of rattle

  1. 1 a :  a device that produces a rattle; specifically :  a case containing pellets used as a baby's toy b :  the sound-producing organ on a rattlesnake's tail

  2. 2 a :  a rapid succession of sharp clattering sounds b :  noise, racket

  3. 3 :  death rattle

Examples of rattle

  1. <I'd go nuts if I had to endure the rattle of that bottling plant every day.>



1519

First Known Use of rattle

1519


3

rattle

verb rat·tle

Definition of rattle

rat·tledrat·tling play \ˈrat-liŋ, ˈra-təl-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to furnish with ratlines



Origin of rattle

irregular from ratline


First Known Use: 1729



RATTLE Defined for Kids

1

rattle

play
verb rat·tle \ˈra-təl\

Definition of rattle

rat·tledrat·tling

  1. 1 :  to make or cause to make a rapid series of short sharp sounds <Wind rattled the windows.>

  2. 2 :  to move with a clatter <A wagon rattled down the road.>

  3. 3 :  to speak or say quickly or without stopping <He rattled off the answers.>

  4. 4 :  to disturb the calmness of :  upset <The question rattled the speaker.>




2

rattle

play
noun rat·tle

Definition of rattle

  1. 1 :  a series of short sharp sounds <the rattle of dishes>

  2. 2 :  a toy that makes a rattling sound

  3. 3 :  a part at the end of a rattlesnake's tail that makes a buzzing rattle when shaken




Medical Dictionary

rattle

play
noun rat·tle \ˈrat-əl\

Medical Definition of rattle

  1. 1:  the sound-producing organ on a rattlesnake's tail

  2. 2:  a throat noise caused by air passing through mucus; specifically :  death rattle—compare rale, rhonchus





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up rattle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ