rattle

verb (1)
rat·​tle | \ ˈra-tᵊl How to pronounce rattle (audio) \
rattled; rattling\ ˈrat-​liŋ How to pronounce rattling (audio) , ˈra-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of rattle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a rapid succession of short sharp noises the windows rattled in the wind
2 : to chatter incessantly and aimlessly
3 : to move with a clatter or rattle also : to be or move about in a place or station too large or grand rattled around the big old house

transitive verb

1 : to say, perform, or affect in a brisk lively fashion rattled off four magnificent backhands— Kim Chapin
2 : to cause to make a rattling sound
3 : rouse specifically : to beat (a cover) for game
4 : to upset especially to the point of loss of poise and composure : disturb

rattle

noun

Definition of rattle (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a device that produces a rattle specifically : a case containing pellets used as a baby's toy
b : the sound-producing organ on a rattlesnake's tail
2a : a rapid succession of sharp clattering sounds
b : noise, racket

rattle

verb (2)
rattled; rattling\ ˈrat-​liŋ How to pronounce rattling (audio) , ˈra-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of rattle (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to furnish with ratlines

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Choose the Right Synonym for rattle

Verb (1)

embarrass, discomfit, abash, disconcert, rattle mean to distress by confusing or confounding. embarrass implies some influence that impedes thought, speech, or action. The question embarrassed her so much she couldn't answer discomfit implies a hampering or frustrating accompanied by confusion. Hecklers discomfited the speaker abash presupposes some initial self-confidence that receives a sudden check, producing shyness, shame, or a feeling of inferiority. abashed by her swift and cutting retort disconcert implies an upsetting of equanimity or assurance producing uncertainty or hesitancy. disconcerted by finding so many in attendance rattle implies an agitation that impairs thought and judgment. rattled by all the television cameras

Examples of rattle in a Sentence

Noun

I'd go nuts if I had to endure the rattle of that bottling plant every day.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Erdogan favors unorthodox methods of financial management, and an overall win by him could further rattle the economy. Elena Becatoros And Zeynep Bilginsoy, Fox News, "Turkey heads to landmark presidential, parliamentary vote," 22 June 2018 Return the favor by rattling off any of these funny Father's Day puns, which any sense of humor—no matter how dry or sarcastic—can easily get behind. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "25 Genius Father's Day Puns That Absolutely Can't Be Beet," 3 May 2019 The eruption comes after days of earthquakes rattled the area’s Puna district. Jane Onyanga-omara, USA TODAY, "Hundreds flee as eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano sends lava into streets," 4 May 2018 Advertising So much for being rattled by the hitter friendly park. Pat Graham, The Seattle Times, "Denver native Freeland feels at home at top of Rox rotation," 26 Mar. 2019 Promising new democracies in Hungary, Poland, Turkey and elsewhere have slid toward authoritarianism, and longstanding democracies in the West are being rattled by populists who often show little regard for democratic rules and individual rights. Sheri Berman, WSJ, "The Long, Hard Road to Democracy," 8 Feb. 2019 Each has rattled off three-race winning streaks with Honda claiming the past three after the sweep of Detroit (Dixon and Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay) and victory in Texas (Dixon). Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Scott Dixon scorching hot as IndyCar heads to Road America," 21 June 2018 Fifteen minutes earlier, her ectophone had rattled out a message: KULAGIN IN A DUEL COME AT ONCE. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The geopolitics of the afterlife get messy in the new sci-fi spy novel Summerland," 17 June 2018 Newspapers were finally but belatedly rattled by the first major technological disruption to the industry since television, and still oblivious about how bad things already were for them. Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, "Elon Musk Should Know Better," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As the needle edges to 60, 70, then 80 miles per hour, the 36-year-old automobile rattles and the wind whistles through the windows. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Car Company That's Resurrecting the DeLorean," 18 Jan. 2019 There are plenty of vegan baby products on the market now, such as Maisonette’s vegan crib mattress or Estella’s organic rattles. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "How Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Outfit Their New Child? A Look Back at Royally Beloved Baby Accessories," 28 Jan. 2019 The source of my rattle was a locking pin on the front brake. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "Ampler Curt e-bike review: electric doesn’t have to mean big and ugly," 6 Sep. 2018 Those scenes are clangorous (the sound design is very impressive), with bone-shaking rattles and mechanical grinding and rocket- engine roaring. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘First Man’: Ryan Gosling is stellar as astronaut Neil Armstrong," 8 Oct. 2018 An upstate New York man trying to jump-start his car was greeted by an unusual sound coming from his engine — the rattle of a venomous timber rattlesnake. Fox News, "Man jumpstarting car finds rattlesnake under hood," 22 June 2018 In fact, there's that sort of rattle and a clang to our entire cul-de-sac, and that's mostly on us. Chris Erskine, latimes.com, "Our house is a Renaissance smile — sly, fetching and a little troubled. Come on in!," 25 May 2018 Among them: tortoises, bearded dragons, lizards, geckos, a cobra, rattle snakes, a crocodile, an alligator, scores of venomous snakes, and even a python, known as the world's longest of snakes. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Predators Reptile Expo in Mesa April 14-15: See the world's longest snake," 12 Apr. 2018 From inside her house, M heard a rattle of gunfire and a chorus of screams. Washington Post, "Silent pain: Rohingya rape survivors’ babies quietly emerge," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Return the favor by rattling off any of these funny Father's Day puns, which any sense of humor—no matter how dry or sarcastic—can easily get behind. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "25 Genius Father's Day Puns That Absolutely Can't Be Beet," 3 May 2019 The publisher also rattled off news about free content updates to the games Mario Tennis Aces and Splatoon 2. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "New NES controllers headline announcement-filled Nintendo Switch presentation," 13 Sep. 2018 The stakes are high for both sides, as failure to reach an accord threatens to rattle financial markets and further strain relations between... Bob Davis, WSJ, "Tariffs Take Center Stage in U.S.-China Trade Talks," 3 Apr. 2019 Many women who don’t want children can rattle off a list of things people have accused them of being: selfish, immoral, cold, greedy, unable to experience real love—just to name a few. Therese Shechter, SELF, "Menopause Was the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me," 13 Mar. 2019 Italy’s finance ministry on Tuesday said this year’s deficit will be 2.4% of gross domestic product, rather than 2% as agreed with the EU in December after tense negotiations that rattled financial markets. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy Warns of Bigger Budget Deficit," 9 Apr. 2019 Days later, the real president delivers a speech of immeasurable length to a conference of conservatives about pretty much everything rattling around in his head. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Story of the Year," 6 Mar. 2019 Or would a Dwight Howard be able to achieve a memorable moment by somehow rattling one in off the glass? Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "World Cup shootouts are great and here is how other sports can adopt the thrilling finale," 1 July 2018 That’s a lesson rattling loudly around the hallways at the 76ers’ training complex in Camden these days. Bob Ford, Philly.com, "Will Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid learn from the Boston series? | Bob Ford," 11 May 2018

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

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1729, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rattle

Verb (1)

Middle English ratelen; akin to Middle Dutch ratel rattle

Verb (2)

irregular from ratline

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Learn More about rattle

Dictionary Entries near rattle

ratter

ratti

rattish

rattle

rattle about

rattle around

rattlebag

Statistics for rattle

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rattle

The first known use of rattle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for rattle

rattle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rattle

: a series of short, loud sounds
: a baby's toy that makes a series of short sounds when it is shaken
: the group of hard, loose pieces (called scales) that cover the end of a rattlesnake's tail

rattle

verb
rat·​tle | \ ˈra-tᵊl How to pronounce rattle (audio) \
rattled; rattling

Kids Definition of rattle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or cause to make a rapid series of short sharp sounds Wind rattled the windows.
2 : to move with a clatter A wagon rattled down the road.
3 : to speak or say quickly or without stopping He rattled off the answers.
4 : to disturb the calmness of : upset The question rattled the speaker.

rattle

noun

Kids Definition of rattle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a series of short sharp sounds the rattle of dishes
2 : a toy that makes a rattling sound
3 : a part at the end of a rattlesnake's tail that makes a buzzing rattle when shaken

rattle

noun
rat·​tle | \ ˈrat-ᵊl How to pronounce rattle (audio) \

Medical Definition of rattle

1 : the sound-producing organ on a rattlesnake's tail
2 : a throat noise caused by air passing through mucus specifically : death rattle — compare rale, rhonchus

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More from Merriam-Webster on rattle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rattle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rattle

Spanish Central: Translation of rattle

Nglish: Translation of rattle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rattle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rattle

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