chat·​ter | \ ˈcha-tər How to pronounce chatter (audio) \
chattered; chattering; chatters

Definition of chatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to utter rapid short sounds suggestive of language but inarticulate and indistinct squirrels chattered angrily
2 : to talk idly, incessantly, or fast
3a : to click repeatedly or uncontrollably teeth chattering with cold
b : to vibrate rapidly in cutting a chattering tool
c : to vibrate especially audibly as a consequence of repeated sticking and slipping chattering brakes

transitive verb

: to utter rapidly, idly, or indistinctly



Definition of chatter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action or sound of chattering
2 : idle talk : prattle
3 : electronic and especially radio communication between individuals engaged in a common or related form of activity also : such chatter regarding future hostile activities
4 : a person who participates in online chat Excite, Inc. … reports that users log a total of 7.5 to 8 million chat minutes on an average day. Half of online chatters are aged 18 to 34, and 15 percent are under age 17.— Rebecca Piirto Heath

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Other Words from chatter


chatterer noun
chattery \ ˈcha-​tə-​rē How to pronounce chattery (audio) \ adjective

Examples of chatter in a Sentence

Verb Children chattered in the middle of the playground. My teeth were chattering from the cold. Birds chattered in the trees. Noun heard the chatter of squirrels pleasant chatter over morning coffee
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Paris is no more Paris without its smart young people chattering outside at now closed cafes than New York is New York without skyscrapers. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "Denuded of Tourists, Paris Reveals Its Old Beating Heart," 24 Apr. 2020 In 10 seconds, most systems will accept enough 4KiB asynchronous write requests to keep the disks chattering for minutes afterwards. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Understanding RAID: How performance scales from one disk to eight," 16 Apr. 2020 The prospect of a $500 PS5 got industry watchers chattering about whether such a price point could be broadly acceptable to the US console-buying market. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Is the US market ready to embrace a $500 game console?," 20 Feb. 2020 When my writer friend started the Burning Bowl Ceremony about 40 years ago, there were young children chattering in the corners of the house or reading a book out loud at the sticky kitchen table. Beth Thames |, al, "Burning Bowl Ceremony incinerates bad thoughts, habits," 29 Jan. 2020 While the regents held their session in another private room, the crowd waited in the meeting room, chattering and passing around petitions in hopes of getting enough signatures to reinstate Lane. Brittany Britto, Houston Chronicle, "TSU board of regents meet to discuss fate of school president Austin Lane," 4 Feb. 2020 Evan, 8, with his shoulder-length golden hair, can often be found chattering at length in a tutu and monster slippers. Erin Clark,, "For one Maine family, the long, hard road from ‘nowhere’ to home," 21 Dec. 2019 The growing ranks of $1 trillion companies inevitably gets investors chattering about whether market valuations are a bubble waiting to pop. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "The club of $1 trillion companies just keeps growing. Now there are four," 17 Jan. 2020 The onset of berserkergang purportedly began with bodily chills, shivering, and teeth chattering, followed by swelling and reddening of the face. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Viking berserkers may have used henbane to induce trance-like state," 18 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More voices were recorded that week in July, including a track of party chatter by a group of friends that included Detroit Lions Lem Barney and Mel Farr. Brian Mccollum,, "Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' still relevant and revealing, 50 years on," 12 July 2020 The rally also comes as chatter about the return of a bull market heats up in mainland China. Laura He, CNN, "The bull market is back for Chinese stocks," 6 July 2020 Silver may have find a balance between tape delaying the games with the potential of viewers being able to hear real-time chatter between players and the inevitable trash talk. oregonlive, "NBA commissioner Adam Silver: We may tape delay games to avoid broadcasting profane language from players," 1 July 2020 The Twitter chatter references news released in March by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper who announced the rescue of an unidentified woman who had been the victim of a violent crime in Honduras. Carol Robinson |, al, "Natalee Holloway’s father: Honduras rescue reports are fake," 30 June 2020 There is also persistent chatter that the vaccine actually caused the disease, as part of a global plot to rid the world of rabbits. Susan Orlean, The New Yorker, "The Rabbit Outbreak," 29 June 2020 Seemingly every company has at least a few people who quietly go (or sign on) to work every day, skip the watercooler chatter, and get right down to business. Ryan Wong, Quartz at Work, "Leaders need their “water carriers” now more than ever," 29 June 2020 By filling the team with women and people of color across the spectrum, the campaign would signal that Biden's pledge of diversity isn't just chatter. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Five important ways that a Joe Biden White House could address systemic racism," 7 July 2020 The splat of balls hitting gloves, laughter and baseball chatter echoed around the sparsely populated Coliseum on Saturday as the A’s held their first workout since the sport shut down in March. Susan Slusser,, "A’s hold first post-shutdown workout: ‘Everything is going to be different’," 4 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chatter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chatter


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chatter


Middle English chatteren, of imitative origin

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Learn More about chatter

Time Traveler for chatter

Time Traveler

The first known use of chatter was in the 13th century

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Statistics for chatter

Last Updated

11 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for chatter


How to pronounce chatter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to talk in a quick or casual way
: to make clicking sounds by knocking together rapidly
: to make fast and usually high-pitched sounds



English Language Learners Definition of chatter (Entry 2 of 2)

: casual talk that is usually not important or interesting
: a series of fast usually high-pitched sounds


chat·​ter | \ ˈcha-tər How to pronounce chatter (audio) \
chattered; chattering

Kids Definition of chatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to talk fast without thinking or without stopping My brothers chattered during the entire trip.
2 : to make quick sounds that suggest speech but lack meaning Monkeys chattered in the trees.
3 : to make clicking sounds by hitting together again and again My teeth are chattering from the cold.



Kids Definition of chatter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or sound of chattering the chatter of squirrels the chatter of teeth
2 : quick or unimportant talk

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More from Merriam-Webster on chatter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chatter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chatter

Spanish Central: Translation of chatter

Nglish: Translation of chatter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chatter for Arabic Speakers

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