[ chat-er ]
See synonyms for: chatterchatteredchatteringchattery on

verb (used without object)
  1. to talk rapidly in a foolish or purposeless way; jabber.

  2. to utter a succession of quick, inarticulate, speechlike sounds, as monkeys or certain birds.

  1. to make a rapid clicking noise by striking together: His teeth were chattering from the cold.

  2. Machinery. (of a cutting tool or piece of metal) to vibrate during cutting so as to produce surface flaws on the work.

verb (used with object)
  1. to utter rapidly or purposelessly.

  2. to cause to chatter, as the teeth from cold.

  1. purposeless or foolish talk.

  2. a series of waves or ridges on the surface of a piece of metal that has been imperfectly drawn or extruded.

  1. the act or sound of chattering.

  2. 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

1200–50; Middle English chateren; imitative

Other words for chatter

Other words from chatter

  • chat·ter·ing·ly, adverb
  • chat·ter·y, adjective
  • outchatter, verb (used with object)
  • un·chat·ter·ing, adjective

Words Nearby chatter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chatter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chatter


/ (ˈtʃætə) /

  1. to speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly; prattle

  2. (intr) (of birds, monkeys, etc) to make rapid repetitive high-pitched noises resembling human speech

  1. (intr) (of the teeth) to click together rapidly through cold or fear

  2. (intr) to make rapid intermittent contact with a component, as in machining, causing irregular cutting

  1. idle or foolish talk; gossip

  2. the high-pitched repetitive noise made by a bird, monkey, etc

  1. the rattling of objects, such as parts of a machine

  2. Also called: chatter mark the undulating pattern of marks in a machined surface from the vibration of the tool or workpiece

Origin of chatter

C13: of imitative origin

Derived forms of chatter

  • chattery, adjective

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