or rat-a-tat-tat

[ rat-uh-tat or rat-uh-tat-tat ]
/ ˈræt əˈtæt or ˈræt əˌtætˈtæt /


a sound of knocking or rapping: a sharp rat-a-tat on the window.

Nearby words

  1. rat race,
  2. rat snake,
  3. rat tamer,
  4. rat terrier,
  5. rat's nest,
  6. rat-a-tat-tat,
  7. rat-arsed,
  8. rat-bite fever,
  9. rat-catcher,
  10. rat-hole

Origin of rat-a-tat

First recorded in 1675–85; imitative

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rat-a-tat

Word Origin and History for rat-a-tat


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper