Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To talk rapidly, incessantly, and on trivial subjects; jabber.
  • intransitive verb To utter a rapid series of short, inarticulate, speechlike sounds.
  • intransitive verb To click quickly and repeatedly.
  • intransitive verb To vibrate or rattle while in operation.
  • intransitive verb To utter in a rapid, usually thoughtless way.
  • noun Idle, trivial talk.
  • noun Communication, such as e-mail and cell phone calls, between people who are involved in terrorism or espionage, as monitored by a government agency.
  • noun The sharp, rapid sounds made by some birds and animals.
  • noun A series of quick rattling or clicking sounds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun succession of quick, shrill, inarticulate sounds, especially if discordant or jarring, like those uttered by a magpie or a monkey; rapid and imperfectly articulated utterance.
  • noun The noise made by the teeth striking together repeatedly and rapidly, as under the influence of cold or fright.
  • noun Idle or foolish talk.
  • noun Synonyms See prattle, n.
  • To utter a succession of quick, shrill, inarticulate sounds, as a magpie or a monkey.
  • To make a rapid rattling noise, as the teeth, from cold or fright.
  • To talk thoughtlessly, idly, or rapidly; jabber; gabble.
  • To argue.
  • To jar, so as to form a series of nicks or notches, as a cutting-tool.
  • To utter as one who or that which chatters: as, to chatter nonsense.

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

  • transitive verb To utter rapidly, idly, or indistinctly.
  • intransitive verb To utter sounds which somewhat resemble language, but are inarticulate and indistinct.
  • intransitive verb To talk idly, carelessly, or with undue rapidity; to jabber; to prate.
  • intransitive verb To make a noise by rapid collisions.
  • noun Sounds like those of a magpie or monkey; idle talk; rapid, thoughtless talk; jabber; prattle.
  • noun Noise made by collision of the teeth, as in shivering.

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

  • noun talk, especially meaningless or unimportant talk
  • noun the sound of talking
  • noun the sound made by a magpie
  • noun an intermittent noise, as from vibration
  • noun in national security, the degree of communication between suspect groups and individuals, used to gauge the degree of expected terrorist activity.
  • verb intransitive To talk idly.
  • verb intransitive Of teeth, machinery, etc, to make a chattering noise.
  • noun one who chats
  • noun Internet a user of chat rooms

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

  • verb click repeatedly or uncontrollably
  • noun noisy talk
  • verb cut unevenly with a chattering tool
  • verb speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
  • verb talk socially without exchanging too much information
  • noun the rapid series of noises made by the parts of a machine
  • noun the high-pitched continuing noise made by animals (birds or monkeys)
  • verb make noise as if chattering away

Etymologies

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

[Middle English chateren, of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English chateren ("to chatter"), of imitative origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

chat +‎ -er

Examples

  • This chatter is all well and good, but the fact is while the Europeans played well Saturday, better than the Americans, they didn't make up all that much ground.

    U.S., Europe both believe they have momentum on their side

  • BLITZER: Is there increased what they call chatter right now around this anniversary of 9/11 that is causing experts counterterrorism experts in the U.S. government a little bit more heightened concerned?

    CNN Transcript Sep 11, 2007

  • BLITZER: Is there increased what they call chatter right now around this anniversary of 9/11 that is causing experts counterterrorism experts in the U.S. government a little bit more heightened concerned?

    CNN Transcript Sep 11, 2007

  • M. O'BRIEN: And you know, of course, the intelligence agencies of the world are constantly dialed into what they call the chatter on this sort of thing.

    CNN Transcript Jul 7, 2005

  • Do you think this is true, that you know, we've heard so much about this term chatter, intelligence picked up through technical methods, that terrorists could actually be faking chatter to get us concerned?

    CNN Transcript Jun 6, 2003

  • ROCKEFELLER: I think lowering or raising of the alerts is the Justice Department function which depends upon what people are - what they call chatter, is that chatter being verified?

    CNN Transcript Apr 12, 2003

  • MILLER: That is precisely what is worrying the government right now, this kind of steady escalation, attack after attack after attack, and also what they call the chatter on the phones and the Internet that the U.S. government has been picking up and monitoring.

    CNN Transcript Jun 17, 2002

  • And this kind of chatter is what those familiar with reality would call crazy.

    Keeping Up with the Wingnuts

  • But what she cannot draw out of all the "chatter" is the invisible's identity and intended target.

    At Risk: Summary and book reviews of At Risk by Stella Rimington.

  • All the Cameron chatter is a bit pie in the sky ... but they say he has begun production on 'something'.

    The Avengers Has a Screenplay | /Film

Comments

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  • ... the ghastly chatter of a death without serenity or majesty ... Whitman, Preface 1855

    December 9, 2006

  • The sense of monitored information has spread from intelligence to astronomy: in this phys.org article 'Milky Way's back hole shows signs of increased chatter', the chatter is X-ray flares becoming more frequent as the object G2 moves close to the galactic black hole Sgr A*.

    September 24, 2015