From Middle English chateren, from earlier cheteren, chiteren (“to twitter, chatter, jabber”), of imitative origin. Compare Saterland Frisian tjoaterje (“to chatter”), West Frisian tsjotterje (“to chatter”), Dutch schateren, schetteren (“chatter”), Dutch koeteren (“jabber”), dialectal German kaudern (“to gobble (like a turkey)”), Danish kvidre (“to twitter, chirp”).
chatter (usually uncountable, plural chatters)
- Talk, especially meaningless or unimportant talk.
- Synonyms: chattering, chatting, nattering; see also Thesaurus:chatter
1940, Rosetta E. Clarkson, Green Enchantments: The Magic Spell of Gardens, The Macmillan Company, page 257:
Although hardly coming under my theme, I cannot omit this: "Against a woman's chatter: Taste at night fasting a root of radish, that day the chatter cannot harm thee."
- The sound of talking.
- The vocalisations of a Eurasian magpie, Pica pica.
- The vocalisations of various birds or other animals.
1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 117:
The hare cried and complained of the terrible February cold and the disgusting chatter of the owls[.]
1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Outlying Pickets of the New World”, in The Lost World […], London, New York, N.Y.: Hodder and Stoughton, →OCLC, page 114:
At dawn and at sunset the howler monkeys screamed together and the parakeets broke into shrill chatter, but during the hot hours of the day only the full drone of insects, like the beat of a distant surf, filled the ear, while nothing moved amid the solemn vistas of stupendous trunks, fading away into the darkness which held us in.
2016, Cornelia F. Mutel, A Sugar Creek Chronicle, page 41:
The wind rose as the earth darkened, so that fading chatters of woodland animals were countered by the strengthening sounds of waving trees […]
- An intermittent noise, as from vibration.
Proper brake adjustment will help to reduce the chatter.
- (uncountable) In national security, the degree of communication between suspect groups and individuals, used to gauge the degree of expected terrorist activity.
The NSA is concerned about increased chatter between known terror groups.
- (uncountable) The situation where a drill or similar tool vibrates and tears the material rather than cutting it cleanly.
talk, especially meaningless or unimportant talk
- Albanian: bërbëlit (sq)
- Bulgarian: дърдорене (bg) n (dǎrdorene)
- Catalan: xerrameca (ca) f
- Mandarin: 廢話／废话 (zh) (fèihuà), 閒話／闲话 (zh) (xiánhuà) or 閑話／闲话 (zh) (xiánhuà)
- Dutch: geklets (nl) n, gekwebbel (nl), gebabbel (nl), geouwehoer (nl)
- Finnish: jaarittelu (fi), juttelu (fi), rupattelu (fi), lörpöttely (fi)
- French: jacassement (fr) m, bagou (fr) m
- German: Geplapper (de) n, Gequatsche (de) n, Geschnatter (de) n, Gequake n, Geschwätz (de) n, Gequassel (de) n
- Greek: φλυαρία (el) f (flyaría)
- Hungarian: csevegés (hu), fecsegés (hu)
- Irish: aighneas m
- Italian: chiacchierio (it) m, chiacchiericcio m
- Japanese: 無駄話 (むだばなし, mudabanashi), 冗言 (じょうげん, jōgen)
- Maori: tarawhete, kōtetetete
- Portuguese: falatório
- Quechua: qasi simi
- Russian: болтовня́ (ru) f (boltovnjá), трёп (ru) m (trjop)
- Scottish Gaelic: goileam m
- Spanish: parloteo (es), cotorreo (es), cháchara (es), palique
- Swedish: pladder (sv) n, tjatter (sv) n, babbel (sv) n
- Tocharian B: käskor
- Turkish: çene çalmak (tr), gevezelik (tr)
- Yiddish: פּלוידערײַ f or n (ployderay)
intermittent noise, as from vibration
degree of communication between suspects
Translations to be checked
chatter (third-person singular simple present chatters, present participle chattering, simple past and past participle chattered)
- (intransitive) To talk idly.
- Synonyms: chat, natter
They knitted and chattered the whole time.
c. 1590–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii], page 222:
That teacheth trickes eleuen and twentie long, / To tame a ſhrew, and charme her chattering tongue.
- (intransitive, of teeth, machinery, etc.) To make a noise by rapid collisions.
- Synonyms: clatter, knock, (said of an engine) pink
He was so cold that his teeth were chattering.
- To utter sounds which somewhat resemble language, but are inarticulate and indistinct.
2016, David Meyer, Abbie Moore, Pia Salk, The Total Cat Manual, Weldon Owen International, →ISBN:
Is your cat intently staring out the window at a bird on a branch and “chattering” in a kind of shaky, high-pitched, breathy way? If so, she is expressing excitement at what she's observing (or maybe the desire to attack what she sees as prey).
- Albanian: bërbëlitje (sq)
- Bulgarian: бъбря (bg) (bǎbrja), дърдоря (bg) (dǎrdorja)
- Mandarin: 唠叨 (zh) (láodao)
- Danish: plapre, sludre, snakke, hyggesnakke, småsnakke
- Dutch: kletsen (nl), kwebbelen (nl), babbelen (nl), ouwehoeren (nl), over koetjes en kalfjes praten
- Esperanto: babili (eo)
- Finnish: jutella (fi), rupatella (fi), lörpötellä (fi), (colloquial) turista (fi)
- French: jacasser (fr), bavarder (fr)
- German: plaudern (de), schwatzen (de), labern (de)
- Ancient: στωμύλλω (stōmúllō), λαλέω (laléō), θρυλέω (thruléō), καταστωμύλλομαι (katastōmúllomai)
- Hebrew: קשקש (he)
- Hungarian: cseveg (hu), csacsog (hu), cseverészik (hu), fecseg (hu)
- Indonesian: mengoceh (id)
- Central Kurdish: چەنەچەن کردن (çeneçen kirdin)
- Latin: garriō
- Maori: tarawhete, pātihau, kōtetetete
- Old English: ġeorran
- Polish: bajczyć impf
- Portuguese: papear (pt), bater papo (pt)
- Quechua: chanrararay
- Russian: болта́ть (ru) (boltátʹ), трепа́ться (ru) (trepátʹsja)
- Sanskrit: लपति (lapati)
- Spanish: parlotear (es), cotorrear (es)
- Swedish: kallprata
- Telugu: వాగు (te) (vāgu)
- Volapük: luspikön (vo), luspikotön
to utter sounds that are largely inarticulate
chat + -er
chatter (plural chatters)
- One who chats.
- (Internet) A user of chat rooms.
2013, Michael K. Sullivan, Sexual Minorities, page 148:
During the chat sessions, two outreach team members would engage in a conversation about the topic chosen for that event in the main chat room and entice other chatters to join in.
- “chatter”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “chatter”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- “chatter”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.