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 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 And as jaw-dropping as the body control is, there's a less desirable maxillofacial sensation over rough pavement, which will set your teeth chattering. Jared Gall, Car and Driver, "2020 Toyota Camry TRD: Family Car or Track Star?," 14 Feb. 2020 From the hot tub, Kotalik, Weaver and Rowland sat with chattering teeth, reflecting on the brief but brutal moments in the cold. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "Hundreds take an icy leap at the annual Polar Plunge," 22 Dec. 2019 The camera — a Canon 5DS with a 200-millimeter lens — chattered like a Gatling gun, shooting frame after frame, 17 in a row, before moving up a few inches and shooting 17 more, then moving up again and shooting 17 more. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Answer Man goes up on the roof as a historic panoramic photo is re-created," 14 Dec. 2019 The teeth-chattering thrum of machinery drowned out the roar of cars on the freeway. Matthias Gafni,, "Caldecott Tunnel open and humming with sound of emergency power generators," 9 Oct. 2019 Jhonathan Valencia and Dangelyn Vargas, two 25-year-old actors who both live nearby, stopped at the base of the steps to take in the scene of chattering tourists. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "‘Joker’ Stairs Become a Bronx Tourist Draw. Hope You’re in Shape.," 31 Oct. 2019 The onset of berserkergang purportedly began with bodily chills, shivering, and teeth chattering, followed by swelling and reddening of the face. Jennifer Ouellette, Wired, "How Vikings Went Into a Trancelike Rage Before Battle," 21 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When the Port acquired the buildings two years ago, there was chatter about leveling the block for new development, according to Laura Hamilton, president of the West Price Hill Community Council. Segann March,, "Verge Brewery, restaurant coming to West Price Hill," 4 Mar. 2020 There's some chatter that stocks could head lower again when the earnings season ends and investors refocus their attention on the economic impact of coronavirus. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Tesla and Ford both make cars. But investors have a clear favorite," 5 Feb. 2020 There had been industry chatter that the Sox might seek to package Price with outfielder Andrew Benintendi to achieve greater salary relief and garner a greater prospect return., "SAN DIEGO — On Thursday, the Red Sox featured pitcher David Price in a tweet intended to promote ticket packages for the 2020 season. The choice seemed an odd one given that the team spent the just-concluded Winter Meetings actively seeking a trade partner for the lefthander.," 14 Dec. 2019 There was also much chatter about Aadhaar linking being mandatory for opening of bank accounts and getting mobile connections, among other things. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "India has the world’s largest biometric data store, and it is terrible at handling it," 5 Dec. 2019 There was also chatter about a rival Ferrari project at another studio. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Making of 'Ford v Ferrari': Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Silly Fights and Real-Life Racing Effects," 15 Nov. 2019 At one point, there was chatter of a television series — that also never came to fruition. Nick Romano,, "Beverly Hills Cop 4 with Eddie Murphy heads to Netflix," 14 Nov. 2019 There is chatter that Disney may need to raise its price for Disney+ sooner rather than later. The Economist, "The future of entertainment," 14 Nov. 2019 If Christian McCaffrey wasn’t putting together a monstrous season for the Panthers, there probably would be chatter about Dalvin Cook as a potential MVP candidate. Brad Biggs,, "NFL power rankings for Week 11: Lamar Jackson-led Ravens ascend to the top spot; Bears edge their way into the top 20," 12 Nov. 2019

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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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

19 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chatter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 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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