a rattlesnake.
a person or thing that rattles.
Informal. a fast freight train.

1400–50; late Middle English; see rattle1, -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rattler (ˈrætlə)
1.  something that rattles
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) an informal name for rattlesnake

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Or about yanking the cords on window-rattlers, notched wooden spools pierced through the center with masonry nails.
Old trolleys were bone rattlers but new ones solve this problem by directing
  the shock down into the ground.
When cornered, rattlers feverishly shake their iconic tails as a last warning
  to back off.
Rattlers and other snakes prey on ground squirrels largely through surprise
  attacks on pups.
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