death rattle


Definition of death rattle 

: a rattling or gurgling sound produced by air passing through mucus in the lungs and air passages of a dying person

Examples of death rattle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But four changes to the lineup and the death rattle of an early exit erased any hint of listlessness on Germany’s part in this game. Andrew Das, New York Times, "Germany’s World Cup Is Saved in the Blink of an Eye (and Flick of a Foot)," 24 June 2018 The bloodcurdling screams turned into a death rattle, then a gasp. Jay Winik, WSJ, "Trump’s Critics Desecrate the Holocaust," 21 June 2018 Are these just the extended death rattles of the GOP’s Obamacare failure? Dylan Scott, Vox, "6 reasons Obamacare repeal (probably) isn’t coming back in 2018," 30 Apr. 2018 This data will also indicate the shock force of its cosmic death rattle. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Space Cowboys Launching Telescopes From the Middle of Nowhere," 12 Apr. 2018 Between the death rattle of winter and St. Patrick's Day, March is the month for stouts. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "Why Stouts Are Much More Than Just a St. Patrick's Day Tradition," 16 Mar. 2017 Snowplows barrel down, a death rattle distressing the streets. David Roderick, San Francisco Chronicle, "State Lines: Shara Lessley’s ‘Lines Following a Husband’s Departure’," 12 Mar. 2018 Perhaps their fighting words are just death rattles. Diana Spechler, Harper's BAZAAR, "Anti-Vegetarianism Is Sexism in Disguise," 3 Jan. 2018 The Nashville Statement, then, sounds like the death rattle of a movement that has disgraced itself. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "The Nashville Statement Is the Religious Right’s Death Rattle," 5 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'death rattle.' 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 death rattle

1781, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of death rattle was in 1781

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More Definitions for death rattle

death rattle


English Language Learners Definition of death rattle

: a sound that is sometimes heard coming from a dying person's throat or chest

death rattle


Medical Definition of death rattle 

: a rattling or gurgling sound produced by air passing through mucus in the lungs and air passages of a dying person

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