• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to make a loud, rattling sound, as that produced by hard objects striking rapidly one against the other: The shutters clattered in the wind.
  2. to move rapidly with such a sound: The iron-wheeled cart clattered down the street.
  3. to talk fast and noisily; chatter: They clattered on and on about their children.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to clatter: clattering the pots and pans in the sink.
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  1. a rattling noise or series of rattling noises: The stagecoach made a terrible clatter going over the wooden bridge.
  2. noisy disturbance; din; racket.
  3. noisy talk; din of voices: They had to shout over the clatter at the cocktail party.
  4. idle talk; gossip.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for clattering

clack, hurtle, clang, ballyhoo, rattle, pandemonium, hullabaloo, rumpus, racket, bluster, clangor, smashing, shattering, smash, clank, noise, clash, roar, bump, shatter

Examples from the Web for clattering

Contemporary Examples of clattering

Historical Examples of clattering

  • 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.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for clattering


  1. to make or cause to make a rattling noise, esp as a result of movement
  2. (intr) to chatter
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  1. a rattling sound or noise
  2. a noisy commotion, such as one caused by loud chatter
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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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper