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Word of the Day
Sunday, July 04, 2010

Definitions for rataplan

  1. To produce the sound as of the beating of a drum.
  2. A sound of or as of the beating of a drum.
  3. A tattoo, as of a drum, the hooves of a galloping horse, or machine-gun fire.

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Citations for rataplan
When his breath returned, he called aloud to space: "My drum ain't busted, but I can't reach t'other stick !" and then rat-tatted as best he could, sitting, hot in his own blood, there in what might have seemed the measured centre of the surely coming charge. As his one stick beat, rataplanning as best it might alone, his ghastly face, turned backward, saw the first man, rifle in hand who topped the low ridge, racing forward on two strong legs, furiously cursing the swinging, helpless left arm that dripped as he ran. Clara Morris, The life of a star
They rataplanned through Abbeville. They saw four unknown riders, in uniforms of the North, trailing them. Harnden called an abrupt halt and waited till the riders came up. Ivan Clyde Lake, "The badgers pursued Jefferson Davis", The Milwaukee Sentinel, 1965
Origin of rataplan
1840-1850
Rataplan's origin is French, though its meaning is entirely imitative.