Definition of rat-a-tat in English:


Syllabification: rat-a-tat
Pronunciation: /ˈrat ə ˌtat
(also rat-a-tat-tat /ˌrat ə ˌtat ˈtat/ or rat-tat or rat-tat-tat)


  • A rapping sound (used especially in reference to a sequence of two or three knocks on a door or the sound of gunfire).
    More example sentences
    • The household was roused this morning by a rat-tat-tat on the door.
    • That's when I heard the gunfire. A constant rat-a-tat of machine guns and the screaming of women mixed with the sounds of battle.
    • I swooped down on them, making the rat-a-tat sound of the turret guns and the thud and boom of the bombs.


late 17th century: imitative.

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