Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To talk or chatter idly or meaninglessly; babble or prate.
  • transitive v. To utter or express by chattering foolishly or babbling.
  • n. Idle or meaningless chatter; babble.
  • n. A sound suggestive of such chattering; a babbling noise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to talk incessantly and in a childish manner; to babble.
  • n. Silly, childish, talk; babble.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Trifling or childish tattle; empty talk; loquacity on trivial subjects; prate; babble.
  • intransitive v. To talk much and idly; to prate; hence, to talk lightly and artlessly, like a child; to utter child's talk.
  • transitive v. To utter as prattle; to babble.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To talk artlessly and childishly; talk freely and idly, like a child; chatter; be loquacious; prate.
  • To force or effect by talking; bring or lead by prattling.
  • To utter in a babbling or childish manner.
  • n. Artless or childish talk; hence, puerile loquacity; twaddle.
  • n. Synonyms Prattle, Prating, Chat, Chatter, Babble, Tattle, Gossip, Gabble, Palaver, Twaddle, Gibberish, Jargon, Balderdash, Rigmarole. Prattle is generally harmless, if not pleasant, as the prattle of a child, or of a simple-minded person; prating now generally suggests the idea of boasting or talking above one's knowledge; chat is easy conversation upon light and agreeable subjects, as social chat beside an open fire; chatter is incessant or abundant talk, seeming rather foolish and sounding pretty much alike; babble or babbling is talk that is foolish to inaneness, as that of the drunkard (Prov. xxiii. 29); tattle is talk upon subjects that are petty, and especially such as breed scandal; gossip is the small talk of the neighborhood, especially upon personal matters, perhaps dealing with scandal; gabble is a contemptuous word, putting the talk upon the level of the sounds made by geese; palaver implies that the talk is either longer than is necessary, or wordy, or meant to deceive by flattery and plausibility; twaddle is mere silliness in talk; gibberish is mere sounds strung together without sense; jargon is talk that is unintelligible by the mingling of sounds or by the lack of meaning; balderdash is noisy nonsense; rigmarole is talk that has the form of sense, but is really incoherent, confused, or nonsensical.

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

  • v. speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
  • n. idle or foolish and irrelevant talk

Etymologies

Frequentative of prate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
prate +‎ -le (“early modern English frequentative suffix”) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • THAT kind of instruction could save a life, whereas Violence Policy Cener prattle is only empty political rhetoric.

    You Bet Your Glass!

  • Hear its prattle, which is nothing but the mind beginning to stir!

    The Truth about Jesus : Is He a Myth?

  • He wouldn't have to listen to the "prattle" (ie, intelligent discussion which doesn't happen to agree with the pure B.S. Armey himself was spewing on the show) because ... why not, exactly?

    Steve Kettmann: Has Dick Armey Apologized Yet for Being a Pig to Joan Walsh?

  • Expect to see more of this kind of prattle between these two unless one of them starts to stand for something more specific than they have thus far.

    Dueling Memos: Hillary And Obama Camps Club Each Other

  • The key word is "prattle", whereas your contributions of course are the sparkling, enlightened conversation worthy of Henry Adams I.F. Stone, and Oscar Wilde.

    TPM Track Composite: Presidential Race Could Be Tightening

  • So, tell me Jennifer, why did this superficial inquiry by a non-serious person who seeks a place in Mexico that does not even exist invite "prattle" from your more serious contributors?

    Where to Live?

  • Cassio is, moreover, good-looking, and he is a staff officer who knows how to please his commanding officer with his 'prattle', whereas Iago is a field officer, experienced in battle but not so adept at courtly shenanigans.

    Shakespeare

  • Then again, there came one of his old, departed Master Justyn's lessons: "Young Darian, your great speech is always mindless prattle to someone else, just as they are certain their prattle is a great speech.

    Elephant in the City

  • In addition to the romantic elements above described, we have here also that page-prattle which is so characteristic of all Lyly's plays.

    John Lyly

  • The talk coming from senior Tories - at least some of whom have the grace to squirm when questioned on this topic - suggesting that it's all terribly complicated, that it was a long time ago and that even SS members were, in some ways, themselves victims, is uncomfortably close to the kind of prattle we used to hear from those we called Holocaust revisionists.

    Harry's Place

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Comments

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  • What the great ones do, the less will prattle of.
    (William Shakespeare)

    March 18, 2008