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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 clattering
  • Sometimes horses' hooves could be heard clattering in the cobbled stable yard at the rear of the house.
  • clattering traffic throws dust into the yard, the well water teems with insects, electricity is intermittent.
  • After starting, if a banging or clattering is heard from underneath the vehicle, immediate track replacement should be sought.
  • In the background behind the caller's voice, he heard the clattering noise of trains speeding by.
  • Suddenly the calm is broken by a raucous barrage of sound, an uncoordinated clattering chorus that echoes in all directions.
  • Kingfishers dive headfirst from prominent outlooks and make a loud clattering rattle.
  • The moment the ban was removed the price of coal canto clattering down.
  • The sound of clattering cans and the clanking of soldering machines pounded on the workers nerves.
  • She faints in a clattering of bones after viewing her husband's cut arm.
British Dictionary definitions for clattering


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
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Word Origin and History for clattering



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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