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

Other Words from chatter


chatterer noun
chattery \ ˈcha-​tə-​rē How to pronounce chatter (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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Midways were packed and chatter overhead among visitors on Saturday included positive comments about the art being shown in a free-to-attend community setting. Karie Angell Luc, Chicago Tribune, 29 Aug. 2022 Give them a minute and Civic folks will chatter about its reliability, fuel economy and value. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 27 Aug. 2022 When Mel stops by the bar, Jack's serving a hipster couple who chatter about glamping in an Airstream. Sara Netzley,, 20 July 2022 In the United States, there were 6.8 million fewer golfers in 2018 versus 2003, and 800 courses closed in the past decade, leading to chatter about how to repurpose the open spaces. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 July 2022 The time on the range was extended by Billy Horschel, who came over for a big hug and began to chatter away. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2022 In the United States, there were 6.8 million fewer golfers in 2018 versus 2003 and 800 courses closed in the past decade, leading to chatter about how to repurpose the open spaces. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 July 2021 Note when your brain starts to chatter with anxiety and bring your focus back to your body. New York Times, 20 July 2021 She’s not one to chatter on about her woes to a customer. Liz Balmaseda,, 7 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There is a lot of chatter and buzzing about the songs made the night before. Jem Aswad, Variety, 14 Sep. 2022 This is only the latest in the Novak-Kaling relationship chatter and timeline. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2022 Among friends and in Twitter chatter and Reddit forums online, workers trade opinions, thoughts and warning signs about job postings. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Watch Duty weeds out all of Twitter’s extraneous chatter and shoots straight for its core goal: telling people where a fire is right now, and where it is headed. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 17 Aug. 2022 Check out the latest updates, speculation, rumors, chatter and reports surround the future of the conference. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 16 Aug. 2022 Every year, Obama releases his favorite books, music and films to his millions of social media followers, creating a flurry of online chatter and discussion. Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 Turquoise walls, laughter, chatter, and a quick-moving line at the taco counter where Servín takes to-go orders. Adán Medrano, Chron, 26 July 2022 Wilmers speculated that the mountain lions were responding to changes in the urban soundscape, which might typically be filled with human chatter and the rumble of passing cars. Emily Anthes,, 16 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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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Dictionary Entries Near chatter

chattel slavery



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Statistics for chatter

Last Updated

10 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for chatter


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

More from Merriam-Webster on chatter

Nglish: Translation of chatter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chatter for Arabic Speakers


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