- to talk rapidly in a foolish or purposeless way; jabber.
- to utter a succession of quick, inarticulate, speechlike sounds, as monkeys or certain birds.
- to make a rapid clicking noise by striking together: His teeth were chattering from the cold.
- Machinery. (of a cutting tool or piece of metal) to vibrate during cutting so as to produce surface flaws on the work.
- to utter rapidly or purposelessly.
- to cause to chatter, as the teeth from cold.
- purposeless or foolish talk.
- a series of waves or ridges on the surface of a piece of metal that has been imperfectly drawn or extruded.
- the act or sound of chattering.
- online, phone, radio, or other electronic communication among people, often involving a harmful political activity such as espionage or terrorism: Officials were able to intercept and identify a high level of terrorist chatter in the weeks before the bombing attempt.
Origin of chatter
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for chattering
At this point, it becomes hard to hear Malloy over the chattering of the attendees, who have begun to move on to other things.Dan Malloy Is Progressives’ Dream Governor. So Why Isn’t He Winning?
October 30, 2014
Chuck Todd took over Meet the Press barely a month ago, and already the chattering class is nattering for his head.Jon Stewart and 'Meet The Press' Would Have Been One Unhappy Marriage
October 9, 2014
Before she finished I began to paint, and she resumed the pose, smiling and chattering like a sparrow.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
As one knowledgeable observer pointed out “why give the chattering class something to chatter about?”Democrats Are Ready to Let Hillary Deliver a Knockout Blow in Iowa
February 19, 2014
Vincent Asaro was recorded last summer chattering to CW-1 about Di Fiore.A Goodfellas Sequel: A True-Life Lufthansa Figure Comes to Court
January 24, 2014
A chattering and hurrying of people could be heard as an undertone.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
Every road teemed with a chattering crowd of men and boys afoot and on horses.Buried Cities, Part 2
By the time they entered Tiverton Street, the vestry was full of chattering groups.Meadow Grass
Now, here am I, chattering away as if I were paid for talking instead of writing.A Woman Intervenes
It was a relief to find herself among a group of chattering people.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
- to speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly; prattle
- (intr) (of birds, monkeys, etc) to make rapid repetitive high-pitched noises resembling human speech
- (intr) (of the teeth) to click together rapidly through cold or fear
- (intr) to make rapid intermittent contact with a component, as in machining, causing irregular cutting
- idle or foolish talk; gossip
- the high-pitched repetitive noise made by a bird, monkey, etc
- the rattling of objects, such as parts of a machine
- Also called: chatter mark the undulating pattern of marks in a machined surface from the vibration of the tool or workpiece
Word Origin and History for chattering
mid-13c., originally of birds, from chatter (v.).
early 13c., chateren "to twitter, gossip," earlier cheateren, chiteren, of echoic origin. Cf. Dutch koeteren "jabber," Danish kvidre "twitter, chirp." Related: Chattered; chattering. Phrase chattering class in use by 1893, with a reference perhaps from 1843:
Such was the most interesting side of the fatal event to that idle chattering class of London life to whom the collision of heaven and earth were important only as affording matter for "news!" [Catherine Grace F. Gore ("Mrs. Gore"), "The Banker's Wife," 1843]