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rat-a-tat

or rat-a-tat-tat

[rat-uh-tat or rat-uh-tat-tat]
See more synonyms for rat-a-tat on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a sound of knocking or rapping: a sharp rat-a-tat on the window.
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Origin of rat-a-tat

First recorded in 1675–85; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rat-a-tat

Historical Examples

  • A little while after they heard a rat-a-tat at the garden door.

    Edmund Dulacs Fairy-Book

    Edmund Dulac

  • Then they heard a rat-a-tat, and the voice of their mother calling: 'Here!

  • It was probably that, with some of the shells in the rack, that made all that rat-a-tat.

    Sea-Hounds

    Lewis R. Freeman

  • The other guns quickly took up the rat-a-tat; the range was sent to the other five guns.

  • Rat-a-tat, rat′-a-tat′, n. sound of repeated knocks, as of a drumstick.


Word Origin and History for rat-a-tat

1680s, echoic, originally of a cooper hammering tubs.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper