|—vb (foll by on)|
|1.||to make or cause to make a rapid succession of short sharp sounds, as of loose pellets colliding when shaken in a container|
|2.||to shake or cause to shake with such a sound: the explosion rattled the windows|
|3.||to send, move, drive, etc, with such a sound: the car rattled along the country road|
|4.||to chatter idly; talk, esp at length: he rattled on about his work|
|6.||informal (tr) to disconcert; make frightened or anxious|
|7.||a rapid succession of short sharp sounds|
|8.||an object, esp a baby's toy, filled with small pellets that rattle when shaken|
|9.||a series of loosely connected horny segments on the tail of a rattlesnake, vibrated to produce a rattling sound|
|10.||any of various European scrophulariaceous plants having a capsule in which the seeds rattle, such as Pedicularis palustris (red rattle) and Rhinanthus minor (yellow rattle)|
|12.||an idle chatterer|
|13.||med another name for rale|
|[C14: from Middle Dutch ratelen; related to Middle High German razzen, of imitative origin]|
percussion instrument consisting of resonant objects strung together and set in a sliding frame or enclosed in a container such that when it is shaken the parts strike against each other, producing sounds. In many societies, rattles are associated with the supernatural and accompany religious rites. Slung rattles (shells, bones, hooves, or similar objects strung on a cord or tied in bunches and attached to a dancer's body) are among the earliest musical instruments, appearing, along with gourd and tube rattles, in prehistoric times. Gourd rattles are particularly prominent as ritual instruments. Where gourds are uncommon, similar rattles are made of basketry, wood, clay, or other material. Gourd rattles known from their use in popular Latin American dance bands are the cabaca (Portuguese for "calabash"), a gourd enclosed in a beaded mesh, and maracas. Rattles are widely considered to have magical power, from the turtle rattles of the Native Americans of the northeastern United States and the gourd rattles of Amazonian Brazil to the shaman accoutrements of Africa and Oceania.
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