Definition of chatter in English:

chatter

Line breaks: chat|ter
Pronunciation: /ˈtʃatə
 
/

verb

[no object]
1Talk informally about unimportant matters: she was chattering about her holiday
More example sentences
  • There were a couple of students outside, playing a quick game, or chattering before school started, and she couched down, and watched them.
  • The door into the lobby opened again, the sound of voices chattering excitedly.
  • Water falls were alive with the crashing of water on rock, rivers trickled, birds sang, people chattered, lava boiled and fires crackled.
1.1(Of a bird, monkey, or machine) make a series of short, quick high-pitched sounds: parrots chattered in the sunlight
More example sentences
  • Around her, birds chattered happily to each other, and the early morning sounds of traffic could be faintly heard in the distance.
  • The monkey chattered fearfully and quickly jumped back into the midst of the tree leaves.
  • In the marshland may the fish and birds chatter.
1.2(Of a person’s teeth) click repeatedly together from cold or fear: his teeth were chattering
More example sentences
  • Her teeth chattered together and her face was pale from the cold.
  • His teeth chattered together so violently that he feared they would break.
  • In summer, we went swimming in the Barrow every day, and swam until we were blue with the cold, our teeth chattering as we practised for competitions.

noun

[mass noun] Back to top  
1Informal talk: he was full of inconsequential but amusing chatter
More example sentences
  • She'd kept up an almost incessant stream of chatter and commentary during the whole of the train ride from London, and then in the taxi to the dock.
  • A similar need to divert the audience at every instant seems to motivate the film's incessant stream of chatter.
  • No matter what he did, he couldn't block the incessant chatter.
Synonyms
1.1Electronic or radio communication, especially between individuals being monitored by a government agency as a result of suspected involvement in terrorist activity or espionage: officials refused to comment on a news report that the patrols were resumed due to increased Internet chatter
More example sentences
  • Intelligence officials are now trying to determine who is the next target, and are sifting through chatter in search of a genuine threat.
  • We have no imminent threat. We have a lot of chatter out there, but no imminent threat of a biological or chemical attack.
  • At a maritime industry meeting in Southern California, the FBI warned of increased terrorist chatter.
2A series of short, quick high-pitched sounds: the starlings' constant chatter
More example sentences
  • This shape is musical: along with typing in a nickname of her choice, each chatter is attributed a sound.
  • I awoke in the real dead of night to the sounds of muffled chatter and hurried movements both in front and behind.
  • The silence (other than the constant chatter of the television) is deadly.
2.1Undesirable vibration in a mechanism: the wipers should operate without chatter
More example sentences
  • The direct-drive AC spindle eliminates the use of gears or belts to drive the spindle and reduces vibration and chatter.

Origin

Middle English: imitative.

Phrases

the chattering classes

British derogatory Intellectual or artistic people considered as a social group given to the expression of liberal opinions: the politically correct voice of the chattering classes
More example sentences
  • The west Midlands campaign, limited so far to the Birmingham elite and chattering classes, has been partly fuelled by a sense that north Wales is doing well out of devolution.
  • But maybe class is not an issue for them because they are both now so firmly part of that powerful caste, the chattering classes.
  • This preoccupation with what the neighbours think is a classic example of the middle class morality that the chattering classes claim to despise.

Derivatives

chattery

adjective
More example sentences
  • My nose is going to be red and sniffly and my eyes are going to be watery and my teeth are going to be chattery and I won't be numb at all.
  • It amazes me every time I come to stay here how loud and chattery the birds are.
  • Besides, he looked kind of odd in a room full of chattery people.

Definition of chatter in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day dinkum
Pronunciation: ˈdɪŋkəm
adjective
(of an article or person) genuine, honest, true