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

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 My friends, keep the faith, don’t get rattled by all of this. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Why the Senate majority leader keeps pushing so hard to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.," 3 Oct. 2018 He can get rattled at times when the pocket collapses, and Arizona’s line is shaky. The Heat Index, azcentral, "NFL draft grades: Rave reviews for Arizona Cardinals' Josh Rosen pick?," 27 Apr. 2018 Following review of the A-Day game on April 7 and the final practice of spring on April 10, Horton wasn't ready to rattle off a top three and left open the possibility for the Tigers to take a by-committee approach to the position this fall. Tom Green, AL.com, "Auburn identifies frontrunner for starting running back job," 19 Apr. 2018 The Blue Devils have signed the top three recruits in America, but despite the talent those are teenagers who could get rattled in a 7,039-seat tinderbox. 2. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "If not Loyola, here's a wish list of opponents to open the new Welsh-Ryan Arena," 18 Apr. 2018 His foot appears to step forward, rattling his bronze belt. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The A1000 Is Disney's Advanced Animatronic Bringing the Galaxy's Edge Star Wars Theme Park To Life," 28 Feb. 2019 Barletta, a fervent Trump supporter who shares his hard-line views on immigration, then took the stage and rattled off a laundry list of Trump's accomplishments. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump defends Russia and North Korea meetings, attacks 'overrated' Bob Casey at Pennsylvania rally," 2 Oct. 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

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 This is a city that rattles and rings with a faint echo of the nursery and the playground, of simple, happy times. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 Nestled in a neighborhood that for years has been rattled by gun violence, McClymonds has suffered its share of problems. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland high school’s students head to college after overcoming odds," 19 May 2018 Embiid closed the first half with a rim-rattling dunk and the Sixers into halftime up 47-43. Dan Gelston, courant.com, "76ers Hold Off Elimination With 103-92 Win Over Celtics," 7 May 2018 Philadelphia enters its season finale Sunday against the Redskins at 8-7, having rattled off consecutive wins against the Rams and Texans with Foles under center. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Saint Nick Foles Is Here to Save the Eagles. Again.," 28 Dec. 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

12 Apr 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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