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See more synonyms for tattle on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), tat·tled, tat·tling.
  1. to let out secrets.
  2. to chatter, prate, or gossip.
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verb (used with object), tat·tled, tat·tling.
  1. to utter idly; disclose by gossiping.
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  1. the act of tattling.
  2. idle talk; chatter; gossip.
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Origin of tattle

1475–85; < Dutch tatelen; cognate with Middle Low German tatelen
Related formstat·tling·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tattle

prate, yak, jabber, spill, babble, leak, snitch, noise, rumor, chat, gossip, prattle, blab, chatter, talk, squeal

Examples from the Web for tattle

Historical Examples of tattle

  • He lowered his voice as if a sea urchin might hear and tattle.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Is not this better than the indulgence in perpetual trifling and tattle?

    The Young Maiden

    A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey

  • So much so that if she had a husband, he dare not beat her lest she run and tattle to them.

    The Arrow-Maker

    Mary Austin

  • Sooner I had a snake in my hut to run and tattle to the gods of me.

    The Arrow-Maker

    Mary Austin

  • It was no maiden, nor the tattle of the town, that brought you this.

British Dictionary definitions for tattle


  1. (intr) to gossip about another's personal matters or secrets
  2. (tr) to reveal by gossipingto tattle a person's secrets
  3. (intr) to talk idly; chat
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  1. the act or an instance of tattling
  2. a scandalmonger or gossip
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Word Origin for tattle

C15 (in the sense: to stammer, hesitate): from Middle Dutch tatelen to prate, of imitative origin
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 tattle


late 15c., "to stammer, prattle," in Caxton's translation of "Reynard the Fox," probably from Middle Flemish tatelen "to stutter," parallel to Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, East Frisian tateren "to chatter, babble," possibly of imitative origin. The meaning "tell tales or secrets" is first recorded 1580s. Sense influenced by tittle. Related: Tattled; tattling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper