• A device that makes a rattling sound such as put on an animal so its location can be heard.
  • (dated) A noisy, senseless talker; a jabberer.
  • The noise in the throat produced by the air in passing through mucus which the lungs are unable to expel; death rattle.
  • A baby's toy designed to make sound when shaken, usually containing loose grains or pellets in a hollow container.
  • (dated) Noisy, rapid talk.
  • (zoology) Any organ of an animal having a structure adapted to produce a rattling sound.

    "The rattle of the rattlesnake is composed of the hardened terminal scales, loosened in succession, but not cast off, and modified in form so as to make a series of loose, hollow joints."

  • (onomatopoeia) a sound made by loose objects shaking or vibrating against one another.

    "I wish they would fix the rattle under my dashboard."

  • A musical instrument that makes a rattling sound.
  • A scolding; a sharp rebuke.


  • (transitive, informal) To scare, startle, unsettle, or unnerve.
  • (transitive, obsolete) To scold; to rail at.
  • (transitive, ergative) To create a rattling sound by shaking or striking.

    "Rattle the can of cat treats if you need to find Fluffy."

  • (transitive, obsolete) To assail, annoy, or stun with a ratting noise.
  • To make a clatter with a voice; to talk rapidly and idly; with on or away.

    "She rattled on for an hour."

  • (transitive, ergative) To create a rattling sound by shaking or striking.

    "to rattle a chain"

  • (intransitive) To make a rattling noise; to make noise by or from shaking.

    "I wish the dashboard in my car would quit rattling."

  • To drive or ride briskly, so as to make a clattering.

    "We rattled along for a couple of miles."

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