Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[klat-er] /ˈklæt ər/
verb (used without object)
to make a loud, rattling sound, as that produced by hard objects striking rapidly one against the other:
The shutters clattered in the wind.
to move rapidly with such a sound:
The iron-wheeled cart clattered down the street.
to talk fast and noisily; chatter:
They clattered on and on about their children.
verb (used with object)
to cause to clatter:
clattering the pots and pans in the sink.
a rattling noise or series of rattling noises:
The stagecoach made a terrible clatter going over the wooden bridge.
noisy disturbance; din; racket.
noisy talk; din of voices:
They had to shout over the clatter at the cocktail party.
idle talk; gossip.
Origin of clatter
before 1050; Middle English clateren, Old English clatr- (in clatrunge); cognate with Dutch klateren to rattle; see -er6
Related forms
clatterer, noun
clatteringly, adverb
clattery, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for clattering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But it was only the strange man Geryon clattering onward, with his six legs!

    The Three Golden Apples Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • There came a clattering of hoofs on the road and the sound of male voices.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Then there was a clattering on the cement floor as of a million arrows.

  • I was sitting by the window when I heard the clattering of their carriage.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • The pasteboard boxes went to the floor in a clattering rush.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She swam away in the bedlam of shrieks and clattering of dishes and knives.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • The other beast was coming at me, clattering his oar over the stern.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • I—I heard him clattering off in that direction, I am almost sure.'

British Dictionary definitions for clattering


to make or cause to make a rattling noise, esp as a result of movement
(intransitive) to chatter
a rattling sound or noise
a noisy commotion, such as one caused by loud chatter
Derived Forms
clatterer, noun
clatteringly, adverb
clattery, adjective
Word Origin
Old English clatrung clattering (gerund); related to Dutch klateren to rattle, German klatschen to smack, Norwegian klattra to knock
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for clattering



late Old English clatrung "clattering, noise," verbal noun implying an Old English *clatrian, of imitative origin. Cf. Middle Dutch klateren, East Frisian klatern, dialectal German klattern. The noun is attested from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for clattering

Word Value for clattering

Scrabble Words With Friends