from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make an abrupt, sharp sound, as in the collision of two hard surfaces.
  • intransitive verb To chatter thoughtlessly or at length.
  • intransitive verb To cackle or cluck, as a hen.
  • intransitive verb To cause to make an abrupt, sharp sound.
  • noun A clacking sound.
  • noun Something that makes a clacking sound.
  • noun Thoughtless, prolonged talk; chatter.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make a quick sharp noise, or a succession of sharp sounds, as by striking or cracking; crack; rattle; snap.
  • To utter sounds or words rapidly and continually, or with sharpness and abruptness; let the tongue run or rattle.
  • To cause to make a sharp, short, snapping sound; rattle; clap: as, to clack two pieces of wood together.
  • To speak without thought; rattle out.
  • noun A sharp, repeated, rattling sound; clatter: as, the clack of a mill.
  • noun In a grist-mill: That part of the mill that strikes the hopper, to move or shake it, for discharging its contents.
  • noun A bell that rings when more corn is required to be put in the hopper.
  • noun A valve of a pump.
  • noun A ball-valve connected with the boiler of a locomotive. See ball-ralve and clack-box, 2.
  • noun A kind of small windmill with a clapper, set on the top of a pole to frighten away birds. Also called clack-mill, and formerly clacket.
  • noun Continual talk; prattle; gossip; tattle.
  • To cluck or cackle, as a hen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To make a sudden, sharp noise, or a succesion of such noises, as by striking an object, or by collision of parts; to rattle; to click.
  • intransitive verb To utter words rapidly and continually, or with abruptness; to let the tongue run.
  • noun A sharp, abrupt noise, or succession of noises, made by striking an object.
  • noun Anything that causes a clacking noise, as the clapper of a mill, or a clack valve.
  • noun Continual or importunate talk; prattle; prating.
  • noun (Mach.) the box or chamber in which a clack valve works.
  • noun a dish with a movable lid, formerly carried by beggars, who clacked the lid to attract notice.
  • noun (Mining) removable cover of the opening through which access is had to a pump valve.
  • noun (Mach.) a valve; esp. one hinged at one edge, which, when raised from its seat, falls with a clacking sound.
  • transitive verb To cause to make a sudden, sharp noise, or succession of noises; to click.
  • transitive verb To utter rapidly and inconsiderately.
  • transitive verb [Eng.] to cut off the sheep's mark, in order to make the wool weigh less and thus yield less duty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun an abrupt, sharp sound, especially one made by two hard objects colliding repetitively; a clatter; in sound, midway between a click and a clunk
  • noun Anything that causes a clacking noise, such as the clapper of a mill, or a clack valve.
  • noun chatter; prattle
  • verb to make such a sound
  • verb to chatter or babble

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
  • noun a sharp abrupt noise as if two objects hit together; may be repeated
  • noun a simple valve with a hinge on one side; allows fluid to flow in only one direction
  • verb make a rattling sound
  • verb make a clucking sounds, characteristic of hens


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English clakken, from Old Norse klaka, of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare French claque ("a slap or smack").


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  • It's a bit lop-sided that click has been listed 25 times yet poor cousin clack only 5.

    Whatever happened to that old song that went

    with a clack-click paddywick

    give a dog a stick


    April 1, 2008

  • Ooh. I got all dizzy reading that.

    April 1, 2008

  • Click has always been the more personable of the two. (Incidentally, they're actually brothers.)

    April 2, 2008

  • Next you'll be telling me that zig and zag are different coloured stripes on the same zebra ;-)

    April 2, 2008

  • Wait. I thought frick and frack were the brothers?

    April 2, 2008

  • Sorry bilby, that was an American reference. Click and Clack are two car mechanics who have a humorous radio show where people call in with car problems and end up getting made fun of. I know that I've seen a few Car Talk lists on this site....

    April 3, 2008

  • Oooh, now I get it! Thanks jenn! If I may return the compliment, Zig and Zag were a famous Australian clown duo. And Australia is not the kind of place that produces many famous clowns :-(

    April 3, 2008

  • Well, the people who call in do get made fun of, but they also get useful car advice. And it isn't always of a mechanical nature. :)

    Years ago I had a car with a cracked headlight casing, and it would fill up with water--condensation, rain, whatever. I still think this was partly a design issue and not just a crack, because I'd see, in parking lots, cars of the same make and model with the same problem.

    Well, I couldn't afford to replace the housing, but of course when the water got high enough it would short out the bulb. And after the third or fourth new bulb, this was getting expensive. All I needed was a way to get the water out, but the only way in was the hole where the bulb would be installed. Finally my sister, who was visiting, hit upon a solution to get the water out. We used tampons, removed from their applicators, to absorb the water, and then pulled them out. Worked like a charm.

    When I explained this to my dad, he said "What's an applicator?" and I laughed myself silly.

    Then I told my brother the whole story: "... and then Dad said, 'What's an applicator?' Isn't that hilarious?!" My brother said... "What's an applicator?"

    The point of this comment--and I do have one--is that I tried to call Car Talk (this is the radio show of the aforementioned car mechanics, bilby) and tell them about this, thinking it would help out the other owners with the same make and model and the same water-in-the-headlight problem. But I was never able to get through on the phone.

    Now nobody drives that kind of car anymore, so it's kind of moot, but hey! I got to tell this long stupid car story on Wordie instead! Yay!

    April 3, 2008

  • Hehe, great story. And there you have it, the birth of the automotive tampon industry documented on Wordie.

    P.S. I'll go ask someone else what an applicator is.

    April 3, 2008

  • You heard it here first, on clack. :-D

    April 3, 2008

  • You could always ask WeirdNet what an applicator is. Though after seeing scarf, I'm not sure that's the best option...

    April 3, 2008

  • I just checked applicator. It's hopeless. ;-)

    April 3, 2008

  • I get you c_b.

    April 3, 2008

  • To 'clack' wool, to cut off the sheep's mark.

    John Kersey, New English Dictionary, 1772

    May 20, 2008

  • New desolate sounds of ... cables slapped clacking against tin masts of yachts in deserted lidos.

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    August 2, 2008

  • Citation on termagant.

    September 18, 2008