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clatter (plural clatters)

  1. A rattling noise; a repetition of abrupt, sharp sounds.
    • 2017 June 26, Alexis Petridis, “Glastonbury 2017 verdict: Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Lorde, Stormzy and more”, in the Guardian[1]:
      There was something distinctly low-key, even wilfully alienating about the band’s performance. A scattering of OK Computer tracks were interspersed with more abstract latterday material – the clatter of 15 Step and Myxamatosis.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 7, in The Dust of Conflict[2]:
      The patter of feet, and clatter of strap and swivel, seemed to swell into a bewildering din, but they were almost upon the fielato offices, where the carretera entered the town, before a rifle flashed.
  2. A loud disturbance.
  3. Noisy talk or chatter.




clatter (third-person singular simple present clatters, present participle clattering, simple past and past participle clattered)

  1. (transitive) To cause to make a rattling sound.
    • Jonathan Swift
      You clatter still your brazen kettle.
    • 2011 November 21, Michael Cragg, “New music: Foxes - Home”, in the Guardian[3]:
      Do we really need another doe-eyed female singer-songwriter with a penchant for electro-pop? Twenty-two-year-old Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes, certainly thinks so. Available as a free download via Neon Gold, her debut single Youth is a monster mix of keening vocals, slow-burn electronics and, by the song's end, big clattering drums.
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Chapter V
      When he came to Nottingham, he entered that part of the market where butchers stood, and took up his inn(2) in the best place he could find. Next, he opened his stall and spread his meat upon the bench, then, taking his cleaver and steel and clattering them together, he trolled aloud in merry tones:...
  2. (intransitive) To make a rattling noise.
  3. (intransitive) To chatter noisily or rapidly.
    • Spenser
      I see thou dost but clatter.
  4. (Northern English) To hit; to smack.
    • 1988, Harry Enfield, Friday Night Live
      "I can't watch it because I have to go outside and clatter someone in the nuts!”
    • 2010, Gerald Hansen, Hand in the Till
      “An Orange bitch clattered seven shades of shite out of her,” Padraig eagerly piped up.

Derived terms[edit]


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