prat·​tle | \ ˈpra-tᵊl How to pronounce prattle (audio) \
prattled; prattling\ ˈprat-​liŋ How to pronounce prattle (audio) , ˈpra-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of prattle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : prate
2 : to utter or make meaningless sounds suggestive of the chatter of children : babble

transitive verb

: to say in an unaffected or childish manner



Definition of prattle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : trifling or empty talk
2 : a sound that is meaningless, repetitive, and suggestive of the chatter of children

Other Words from prattle


prattler \ ˈprat-​lər How to pronounce prattle (audio) , ˈpra-​tᵊl-​ər \ noun
prattlingly \ ˈprat-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce prattle (audio) , -​tᵊl-​iŋ-​ \ adverb

Examples of prattle in a Sentence

Verb They prattled on into the night, discussing school, music, and friends. spent an hour on the phone prattling on about nothing in particular Noun parents often claim to understand the prattle of their infant offspring
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Likewise, cars might rattle or prattle as your speed got faster. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 As always, those who prattle on about individual freedoms slip quite easily into authoritarianism when defied. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, 23 June 2020 While some buffoon is prattling at length, its lips moving weirdly on a low-polygon face, this is usually the moment that your feet hurt or that your headset's face cushion itches. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 23 Mar. 2020 David prattled about the weather and asked if Harry had seen anything good on TV., 14 Jan. 2020 My aunt would prattle on about her kindergarten students, my uncles about their work as firefighters and linesmen., 21 Nov. 2019 Someone is eating with his or her child or family, just having a quiet dinner, and shouting at them, screaming, demanding and prattling on about all these points. Fox News, 26 July 2018 Middle Sister prattled on about how an atom having six principal quantum numbers can yield several emission lines, or some such. Chicago Tribune,, 2 June 2018 The chapter is mostly made up of faintly (and not-so-faintly) ignorant rednecks who prattle on about their own superiority and sense of grievance that their pure white ways of life are being distorted and corrupted by the Jews and the blacks. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, 15 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some of the crew pass blunts and prattle on the balcony. New York Times, 23 Sep. 2021 The story begins with gentle comedy: the narrator, a writer, keeps being disturbed in his study by the prattle of his five-year-old daughter, Mini. Suketu Mehta, Time, 17 Sep. 2021 Over the past several years, Carlson Stroud’s videos devolved from benign prattle about energy, God, and angels to drunken rants, dark threats, and apparent mistreatment of members. Virginia Pelley, Marie Claire, 7 Sep. 2021 These questions — and the obsessive attention to mundane details like Mr. Kim’s wristwatch — may seem like the idle prattle of celebrity gossip. New York Times, 29 June 2021 No one has ever listened to me prattle on for this long before. The Washington Post,, 5 Feb. 2018 Away from the incessant prattle of social media and the knee-jerk demands for harsh immediate action, a variety of perspectives was considered. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, 28 Oct. 2017 They are allowed to prattle on about vague problems in America. Dom Giordano,, 13 Sep. 2017 The Supreme Court’s seating chart requires the two to sit next to each other, and like plenty of SCOTUS seatmates before them, the justices often whisper to each other when lawyers at the lectern prattle on. Mark Joseph Stern, Slate Magazine, 30 May 2017

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


1532, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prattle


Low German pratelen; akin to Middle Dutch praten to prate

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The first known use of prattle was in 1532

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Cite this Entry

“Prattle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for prattle



English Language Learners Definition of prattle

: to talk for very long about something that is not important or interesting


prat·​tle | \ ˈpra-tᵊl How to pronounce prattle (audio) \
prattled; prattling

Kids Definition of prattle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to talk a great deal about unimportant or uninteresting things



Kids Definition of prattle (Entry 2 of 2)

: uninteresting or unimportant talk Amy's happy prattle became intolerable.— Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

More from Merriam-Webster on prattle

Nglish: Translation of prattle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prattle for Arabic Speakers


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