clatter

1 of 2

verb

clat·​ter ˈkla-tər How to pronounce clatter (audio)
clattered; clattering; clatters

intransitive verb

1
: to make a rattling sound
the dishes clattered on the shelf
2
: to talk noisily or rapidly
3
: to move or go with a clatter
clattered down the stairs

transitive verb

: to cause to clatter
clatterer noun
clatteringly adverb

clatter

2 of 2

noun

1
: a rattling sound (as of hard bodies striking together)
the clatter of pots and pans
2
: commotion
the midday clatter of the business district
3
: noisy chatter
clattery adjective

Example Sentences

Verb The shutters clattered against the house. He heard dishes clattering in the kitchen. The box dropped and dozens of marbles clattered across the floor. The wagon clattered down the road. Noun the clatter of a crowded cafeteria
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Each time a player shakes the grid, the dice clatter around and settle into a new arrangement of letters. Katie Mccormick, Quanta Magazine, 8 Dec. 2021 The Avengers Campus offers plenty of the superheroes' souvenirs, from apparel and figurines to the Spider-Bots, which clatter around on eight legs at the flick of remote control. Paul Vercammen, CNN, 2 June 2021 In that part of the world, both governments and their opponents know that mass protest is rarely polite; when anger boils over, people clatter over walls, break things, fight cops. Star Tribune, 11 Jan. 2021 In Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, thousands of tailors usually work from tiny studios tucked between barber shops and corner stores, or in clattering rows in the fabric section of markets. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 June 2020 Subway trains clattered along their tracks, their doors squealing open to disgorge crowds of passengers. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Apr. 2020 At a section of uneven sidewalk, the robot paused, as if in thought, before clattering over the break. Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2020 Like his predecessors for nearly 200 years, General Kelley and his wife lived in elegance in a historic Washington residence with high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, a reputed ghost and a view of parade grounds clattering with ceremonial drills. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2019 Gizmo clattered up to him with his favorite toy, a velvet bone, and Hendrix chuckled. Kevin Fagan, SFChronicle.com, 28 Nov. 2019
Noun
Flames roar up the sides of pans, pots clatter like artillery, slabs of beef are dragged and hoisted like casualties. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 26 Dec. 2022 As winds howl, buildings can moan like creaky container ships, or clatter like subway cars. Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic, 17 Dec. 2022 The noises of the city—street venders, horses’ hooves, the clatter of carts, songs and arguments—filled the air. Salman Rushdie, The New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2022 At the end of the seventh album on this list (no spoilers), the poet and philosopher Thomas Stanley’s voice rises up over a clatter of drums and saxophone, offering a darkly optimistic take on the state of jazz. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2022 The clatter woke the Ranger in the next dugout, who grabbed his M1 and began firing wildly in the direction of the noise. Peter Cozzens, WSJ, 29 Nov. 2022 Rain intensifies from a light spit to a thunderous clatter as the road winds towards the dense clouds. Charlie Thomas, Robb Report, 18 Nov. 2022 But last week, some distinctive notes in Musk’s misfit symphony cut through the clatter in the form of some outrageously transgressive tweets. Steven Levy, WIRED, 18 Nov. 2022 At the song’s conclusion, Wy gave a literal mic drop, letting her microphone clatter to the stage. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 29 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English clatren, from Old English *clatrian; of imitative origin

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clatter was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near clatter

Cite this Entry

“Clatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clatter. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

clatter

1 of 2 verb
clat·​ter ˈklat-ər How to pronounce clatter (audio)
1
: to make or cause to make a rattling sound
2
: to move with a clatter
clatterer noun
clatteringly adverb

clatter

2 of 2 noun
1
: a rattling sound (as of hard objects striking together)
the clatter of pots and pans
2
3
: noisy chatter
clattery adjective

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