Definition of tattle in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtadl/


[no object]
1chiefly North American Report another’s wrongdoing: he never tattled or told tales I would tattle on her whenever I had hard evidence
More example sentences
  • But, I'm afraid it will be like when little kids tattle on each other.
  • Stumble across us and go tattle to the principal!
  • If the clerk continues to overlook you, find the manager and tattle!
report, talk, tell all, spill the beans
informal squeal, sing, let the cat out of the bag
1.1Gossip idly.
Example sentences
  • They tend to gain control by withdrawing affection and attention or by gossiping and tattling.
  • This one will include a banishment clause for tattling, since our last nanny came this close to selling a tell-all about life among us.
  • Tighter money and higher interest rates will not be needed for much longer, they tattled.


Gossip; idle talk.
Example sentences
  • But Duffy has no truck with those who argue that the player, who is injury-prone and inclined to attract lurid headlines, has little left to offer the sport beyond tears and tabloid tattle.
  • Perelman's free-associative style spun fantasias out of girdle ads, tabloid tattle, sleazy pulp fiction and recipe prose.
  • Just how far I have come from my days of respecting Motson was confirmed yesterday where he destroyed all enjoyment of watching the cup final with his mediocre tattle.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'falter, stammer', also 'make meaningless sounds', referring to a small child): from Middle Flemish tatelen, tateren, of imitative origin.

Words that rhyme with tattle

battle, cattle, chattel, embattle, prattle, rattle, Seattle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tat·tle

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.