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[klat-er] /ˈklæt ər/
verb (used without object)
to make a loud, rattling sound, as that produced by hard objects striking rapidly one against the other:
The shutters clattered in the wind.
to move rapidly with such a sound:
The iron-wheeled cart clattered down the street.
to talk fast and noisily; chatter:
They clattered on and on about their children.
verb (used with object)
to cause to clatter:
clattering the pots and pans in the sink.
a rattling noise or series of rattling noises:
The stagecoach made a terrible clatter going over the wooden bridge.
noisy disturbance; din; racket.
noisy talk; din of voices:
They had to shout over the clatter at the cocktail party.
idle talk; gossip.
Origin of clatter
before 1050; Middle English clateren, Old English clatr- (in clatrunge); cognate with Dutch klateren to rattle; see -er6
Related forms
clatterer, noun
clatteringly, adverb
clattery, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for clattered
Historical Examples
  • We reached Canterbury while the light of the long summer evening still served, and clattered up the street in muddy bravery.

    Simon Dale Anthony Hope
  • Then he clattered over the woodshed floor and peered into the kitchen.

    The Tale of Grunty Pig Arthur Scott Bailey
  • She clattered the plates, and made such a noise, that they soon started from their sleep.

    A Winter Nosegay Walter Crane
  • The reeds by the marshy shore were frost-glittering and clattered faintly.

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • The pair behind them crowded past and clattered hurriedly up the bare, polished stairs.

    The Wishing Moon Louise Elizabeth Dutton
  • Shandy gave the bridle a swing, and it clattered to the floor from its peg.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • So Fisher took up the forceps, and clattered around amongst Ellen's sound white teeth.

    Vanished Arizona Martha Summerhayes
  • His electric lamp fell from his hand, and clattered to the floor.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • One of the upper panes, just above his line of vision, clattered down as he pulled the bell-rope.

  • They thundered on the planks of the drawbridge and clattered on the stones of the courtyard.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for clattered


to make or cause to make a rattling noise, esp as a result of movement
(intransitive) to chatter
a rattling sound or noise
a noisy commotion, such as one caused by loud chatter
Derived Forms
clatterer, noun
clatteringly, adverb
clattery, adjective
Word Origin
Old English clatrung clattering (gerund); related to Dutch klateren to rattle, German klatschen to smack, Norwegian klattra to knock
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
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Word Origin and History for clattered



late Old English clatrung "clattering, noise," verbal noun implying an Old English *clatrian, of imitative origin. Cf. Middle Dutch klateren, East Frisian klatern, dialectal German klattern. The noun is attested from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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