[rat-uh-tat or rat-uh-tat-tat]
- a sound of knocking or rapping: a sharp rat-a-tat on the window.
Origin of rat-a-tat
First recorded in 1675–85; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rat-a-tat-tat
A lot of newspaper columns used to be written in a rat-a-tat-tat, fast-paced style—and they tended to be funny.P.J. O’Rourke Joins The Daily Beast
December 17, 2013
So he stopped and tapped on the door, rat-a-tat-tat, very softly, you know.
Each game he started against us he got the old “rat-a-tat-tat.”Pitching in a Pinch
Over by the orchard, he could hear a flicker go "Rat-a-tat-tat," boring away at the old apple tree.Half-Past Seven Stories
Robert Gordon Anderson
Rat-a-tat-tat at the first dim hint of dawn went the chamberlain's knuckles upon the door.Master Skylark
We started to climb the Ridge, and we were just coming through a churchyard when rat-a-tat-tat!Into the Jaws of Death</p>
- the sound of knocking on a door
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
Word Origin and History for rat-a-tat-tat
1680s, echoic, originally of a cooper hammering tubs.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper