verb (used without object), prat·tled, prat·tling.

to talk in a foolish or simple-minded way; chatter; babble.

verb (used with object), prat·tled, prat·tling.

to utter by chattering or babbling.


the act of prattling.
chatter; babble: the prattle of children.
a babbling sound: the prattle of water rushing over stones.

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

Synonyms for prattle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prattle

Contemporary Examples of prattle

  • Then, since the Battleground states are something about which the Talking Heads like to prattle.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Prattleground States

    Megan McArdle

    November 7, 2012

Historical Examples of prattle

  • 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



(intr) to talk in a foolish or childish way; babble
(tr) to utter in a foolish or childish way


foolish or childish talk
Derived Formsprattler, nounprattlingly, adverb

Word Origin for prattle

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper