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verb (used without object), prat·tled, prat·tling.
  1. to talk in a foolish or simple-minded way; chatter; babble.
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verb (used with object), prat·tled, prat·tling.
  1. to utter by chattering or babbling.
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  1. the act of prattling.
  2. chatter; babble: the prattle of children.
  3. a babbling sound: the prattle of water rushing over stones.
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Origin of prattle

1525–35; < Middle Low German pratelen to chatter, frequentative of praten to prate; see -le
Related formsprat·tler, nounprat·tling·ly, adverb


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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.

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


    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

British Dictionary definitions for prattle


  1. (intr) to talk in a foolish or childish way; babble
  2. (tr) to utter in a foolish or childish way
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  1. foolish or childish talk
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Derived Formsprattler, nounprattlingly, 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

Word Origin and History for prattle


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper