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[prat-l] /ˈpræt l/
verb (used without object), prattled, prattling.
to talk in a foolish or simple-minded way; chatter; babble.
verb (used with object), prattled, prattling.
to utter by chattering or babbling.
the act of prattling.
chatter; babble:
the prattle of children.
a babbling sound:
the prattle of water rushing over stones.
Origin of prattle
1525-35; < Middle Low German pratelen to chatter, frequentative of praten to prate; see -le
Related forms
prattler, noun
prattlingly, adverb
1. gab, jabber, gabble, blab. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prattle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You know how readily we get into prattle upon a subject dear to our heart: you can excuse it.

  • As for all the prattle about pre-Raphaelitism, I confess to you I am weary of it, and long have been.

  • The boy had pattered French with the former since he had first begun to prattle at all.

    Billy Topsail & Company

    Norman Duncan
  • He listened to people's talk as though it had been children's prattle.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • Her prattle seeped in and he became aware of it and what she was saying.

    Life Sentence James McConnell
  • His prattle was the prattle of an unsophisticated maiden lady.

    The O'Ruddy Stephen Crane
  • The prattle of lovers and the sober wisdom of experience blended.

    Charles Carleton Coffin William Elliot Griffis, D. D.
  • She paid as little heed to my words as a nurse to the prattle of a child.


    Henry Seton Merriman
  • Mr. Draconmeyer smiled with the air of one listening to a child's prattle.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for prattle


(intransitive) to talk in a foolish or childish way; babble
(transitive) to utter in a foolish or childish way
foolish or childish talk
Derived Forms
prattler, noun
prattlingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Middle Low German pratelen to chatter; see prate
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
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Word Origin and History for prattle

1530s, frequentative of prate (q.v.). Related: Prattled; prattling. The noun is attested from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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