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 This set has a dual functioning system that works to block outside noise like wind or background chatter while keeping the source audio crisp. Liv Birdsall, USA TODAY, "20 things from Best Buy that make aging in place easier," 25 June 2020 Market watchers’ chatter across Twitter no longer just focuses on broad indicators like jobless claims and retail sales. Akane Otani And Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Restaurant Reservations, Driving Directions and Other Indicators Wall Street Is Watching," 21 June 2020 As is wont to happen when talking politics with parents, their election day chatter turns contentious as pragmatic Dede supporter Andi scoffs at Jayne’s stalwart belief in Payton’s ability to save the precarious state of the environment., "The Politician season 2 binge recap," 19 June 2020 The ongoing battle to quiet the chatter of degradation is debilitating. NBC News, "I'm a Black therapist, and this is why neglecting your mental health could be lethal today," 17 June 2020 Joe Biden's pledge to choose a woman as his running mate, and his consideration of several black female officeholders for the role, has spurred considerable chatter about diversity in the nation's second-highest office. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "The first vice president of color was a Republican over 90 years ago," 16 June 2020 It’s not about Alabama football, or sweet tea, or polite chatter in a slow-moving grocery store line. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "The Confederate flag is a middle finger to freedom | Opinion," 12 June 2020 The chatter about the Cavs making a mistake during the 2018 draft soon followed. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "What’s next for Collin Sexton? He has a lofty goal: ‘I want to push towards that All-Star Game’," 12 June 2020 Biden has stoked such chatter by having her at big fundraisers and other campaign efforts. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Kamala Harris overshadowed in her bid to be Joe Biden veep pick," 10 June 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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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 2 Jul. 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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