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rattle1

[rat-l] /ˈræt l/
verb (used without object), rattled, rattling.
1.
to give out or cause a rapid succession of short, sharp sounds, as in consequence of agitation and repeated concussions:
The windows rattled in their frames.
2.
to move or go, especially rapidly, with such sounds:
The car rattled along the highway.
3.
to talk rapidly; chatter:
He rattled on for an hour about his ailments.
verb (used with object), rattled, rattling.
4.
to cause to rattle:
He rattled the doorknob violently.
5.
to drive, send, bring, etc., especially rapidly, with rattling sounds:
The wind rattled the metal can across the roadway.
6.
to utter or perform in a rapid or lively manner:
to rattle off a list of complaints.
7.
to disconcert or confuse (a person):
A sudden noise rattled the speaker.
8.
Hunting. to stir up (a cover).
noun
9.
a rapid succession of short, sharp sounds, as from the collision of hard bodies.
10.
an instrument contrived to make a rattling sound, especially a baby's toy filled with small pellets that rattle when shaken.
11.
the series of horny, interlocking elements at the end of the tail of a rattlesnake, with which it produces a rattling sound.
12.
a rattling sound in the throat, as the death rattle.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English ratelen (v.), ratele (noun) (cognate with Dutch ratelen, German rasseln); imitative
Synonyms
1. clatter, knock. 7. discompose. 9. clatter.

rattle2

[rat-l] /ˈræt l/
verb (used with object), rattled, rattling. Nautical
1.
to furnish with ratlines (usually followed by down).
Origin
1720-30; back formation from ratling ratline (taken as verbal noun)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rattle
  • The animals' horns are painted as brightly as the trucks that rattle past them.
  • Snakes add a new rattle segment each time they shed.
  • The sound generated by gushing rocket exhaust can rattle a launch vehicle into pieces.
  • The best writers tend to be able to rattle off the name of their favorite book on writing.
  • Trucks packed with explosives rattle by on ill-lit rails.
  • The rattlesnake is known for the rattle at the end of its tail.
  • Undersized pellets could rattle around inside a fuel can and damage the inner cladding.
  • Punishing winds rattle the nerves and chill your core.
  • Snug cavity protects laptop from unnecessary rattle.
  • Now the objects in your room-the bed lamps, the clock, the shutters-begin to rattle and creak in perfect rhythm.
British Dictionary definitions for rattle

rattle1

/ˈrætəl/
verb
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.
(intransitive) foll by on. to chatter idly; talk, esp at length: he rattled on about his work
5.
(transitive; foll by off, out etc) to recite perfunctorily or rapidly
6.
(transitive) (informal) to disconcert; make frightened or anxious
noun
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)
11.
idle chatter
12.
an idle chatterer
13.
(med) another name for rale
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Dutch ratelen; related to Middle High German razzen, of imitative origin

rattle2

/ˈrætəl/
verb
1.
(transitive) often foll by down. to fit (a vessel or its rigging) with ratlines
Word Origin
C18: back formation from rattling, variant of ratline

Rattle

/ˈrætəl/
noun
1.
Sir Simon. born 1955, English conductor. Principal conductor (1980–91) and music director (1991–98) of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002
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 rattle
v.

c.1300 (intransitive), "To make a quick sharp noise with frequent repetitions and collisions of bodies not very sonorous: when bodies are sonorous, it is called jingling" [Johnson]. Perhaps in Old English but not recorded; if not, from Middle Dutch ratelen, probably of imitative origin (cf. German rasseln "to rattle," Greek kradao "I rattle"). Sense of "utter smartly and rapidly" is late 14c. Meaning "to go along loosely and noisily" is from 1550s. Transitive sense is late 14c.; figurative sense of "fluster" is first recorded 1869. Related: Rattled; rattling.

n.

c.1500, "rapid succession of short, sharp sounds," from rattle (v.). As a child's toy, recorded from 1510s. As a sound made in the throat (especially of one near death) from 1752.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rattle

rattle

verb
  1. (also rattle on) To talk on and on, esp foolishly or pointlessly; babble (1594+)
  2. To confuse; upset; disturb concentration: I rattled him with veiled menaces (1869+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for rattle

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.

Learn more about rattle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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