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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtʃætə/
  • (US) enPR: chătʹər, IPA(key): /ˈtʃætɚ/
  • Rhymes: -ætə(r)
  • (file)

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English chateren, from earlier cheteren, chiteren (to twitter, chatter, jabber), of imitative origin. Compare Dutch schateren (chatter), schetteren, Dutch koeteren (jabber), dialectal German kaudern (to gobble (like a turkey)), Danish kvidre (to twitter, chirp).


chatter (uncountable)

  1. Talk, especially meaningless or unimportant talk.
  2. The sound of talking.
  3. The sound made by a magpie.
  4. An intermittent noise, as from vibration.
    Proper brake adjustment will help to reduce the chatter.
  5. 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.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


chatter (third-person singular simple present chatters, present participle chattering, simple past and past participle chattered)

  1. (intransitive) To talk idly.
    They knitted and chattered the whole time.
  2. (intransitive) Of teeth, machinery, etc, to make a noise by rapid collisions.
    He was so cold that his teeth were chattering.
  3. To utter sounds which somewhat resemble language, but are inarticulate and indistinct.

Etymology 2Edit

chat +‎ -er


chatter (plural chatters)

  1. one who chats
  2. (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.

Further readingEdit