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

Examples of clatter in a Sentence

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
Her exhausted brain begins to clatter like a runaway machine. Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 The dots refresh for each new image, clattering like the sound of Nerds candies being poured onto a table. The Indianapolis Star, 4 Apr. 2024 Every few minutes, a new prescription comes clattering down, delivering a bottle full of powerful and effective pills used to treat opioid addiction to a waiting patient at the front desk. Lev Facher, STAT, 26 Mar. 2024 Yes, the fervent hordes clattering around TikTok and reality TV attest that many still prize celebrity, influence and their attendant financial promise. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, 29 Oct. 2023 Time to get used to: Opening the door to clattering in the kitchen, the TV on — the sweet sounds of your special someone who has arrived home before you. Katie Toussaint, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The air was filled with cigarette smoke and the racket of clattering typewriters, editors yelling reminders of how many minutes to deadline, phones ringing, static from police scanners and the occasional thunk of a chair thrown in anger. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, 14 Oct. 2023 Every year another piece of rock chips off the mountain and goes clattering into a chasm below. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Sep. 2023 This bird is known for its orange, brown, and yellow coloring and its distinct call, which typically sounds like bones clattering around, in a fun way. Kerry Elson, The New Yorker, 29 Sep. 2023
Noun
The clatter of fingers on keys became a funnel for the noise in my mind and our home, a place to pin ideas while my father screamed. Sarah Stankorb, Longreads, 9 May 2024 That extends beyond the gratifying menu to the inviting vibe: the considerable personalities of waitresses, spirited chatter, the syncopated clatter of dishes and music underscored by a lot of ‘70s hits at just the right volume. Vahe Gregorian, Kansas City Star, 7 May 2024 The price points take the sting out of the clatter. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2024 The 15-minute run-in with at least three of the giant mammals forced the crew competing in The Ocean Race on Thursday to drop its sails and raise a clatter in an attempt to scare the approaching orcas off. Jimmy Golen, Chicago Tribune, 23 June 2023 Far from there being any awkwardness, however, the extended brood descend on Pat and Angie’s in a cheerful clatter. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 25 Feb. 2024 Today, the clatter of cutlery and the buzz of conversation compete with the steady stream of delivery drivers and the ping of online orders. Craig Dunaway, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 Anything served in a metal steamer, the source of some of the clatter at Bob’s, is worth your attention. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2023 Live rounds are typically distinguished from dummy rounds by a small hole in the dummy’s brass cartridge, indicating there is no explosive inside, by a missing or dimpled primer at the bottom of the cartridge, or by shaking the round to hear the clatter of a BB that is inserted inside. Morgan Lee, Twin Cities, 13 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clatter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 May. 2024.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on clatter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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