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From Middle English janglen (to talk excessively, chatter, talk idly), from Old French jangler (to chatter, gossip, bawl, argue noisily), perhaps from Frankish *jangelon (to jeer) (compare Middle Dutch jangelen (to whine)).



jangle (third-person singular simple present jangles, present participle jangling, simple past and past participle jangled)

  1. (intransitive) To make a rattling metallic sound.
  2. (transitive) To cause something to make a rattling metallic sound.
    • Shakespeare
      Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune, and harsh.
  3. (transitive) To irritate.
    The sound from the next apartment jangled my nerves.
  4. To quarrel in words; to wrangle.
    • Shakespeare
      Good wits will be jangling; but, gentles, agree.
    • Carlyle
      Prussian Trenck [] jargons and jangles in an unmelodious manner.



jangle (plural jangles)

  1. A rattling metallic sound.
    • Longfellow
      the musical jangle of sleigh bells
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, →ISBN, page 11:
      Jessamy tugged the scrolled iron bell-pull which hung down on one side of the gate. Somewhere behind, she could hear an answering jangle.
  2. (obsolete) Idle talk; prate; chatter; babble.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)


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