Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

rattle - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     rattle pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlerattling
past tenserattled
past participlerattled
  1. 1
    [intransitive]Sound effect if something rattles, it makes short sharp knocking sounds as it moves or shakes

    The house shook and the doors and windows rattled.

    There’s something rattling in the bottom of that box.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to knock things together, or to shake them so that they rattle

      Betty was rattling pans in the kitchen.

      He came up the driveway, rattling a bunch of keys.

  2. 2
    [transitive] informal to make someone feel nervous or angry

    Just keep your cool and don’t let him rattle you.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if a vehicle or a train rattles somewhere, it moves there quickly and noisily

    Don came rattling down the track in his battered old truck.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play