verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to cause to clatter: clattering the pots and pans in the sink.


Origin of clatter

before 1050; Middle English clateren, Old English clatr- (in clatrunge); cognate with Dutch klateren to rattle; see -er6
Related formsclat·ter·er, nounclat·ter·ing·ly, adverbclat·ter·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clatter

Contemporary Examples of clatter

Historical Examples of clatter

  • He threw the helmet with a clatter on to the table as if it had been the knave's canting head.


    William J. Locke

  • He entered in the clatter of the shop bell with an air of sombre and vexed exhaustion.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The clatter of crockery did not cease in the adjoining room.

  • There was a clatter and rattle of speeding hoofs, which rapidly died out.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The clatter of hoofs was growing louder with each passing second.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for clatter



to make or cause to make a rattling noise, esp as a result of movement
(intr) to chatter


a rattling sound or noise
a noisy commotion, such as one caused by loud chatter
Derived Formsclatterer, nounclatteringly, adverbclattery, adjective

Word Origin for clatter

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

Word Origin and History for clatter

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