Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To talk idly and at length; chatter.
  • transitive v. To utter idly or to little purpose.
  • n. Empty, foolish, or trivial talk; idle chatter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Talk to little purpose; trifling talk; unmeaning loquacity.
  • v. To talk much and to little purpose; to chatter; to be loquacious; to speak foolishly; to babble.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To talk much and to little purpose; to be loquacious; to speak foolishly; to babble.
  • transitive v. To utter foolishly; to speak without reason or purpose; to chatter, or babble.
  • n. Talk to little purpose; trifling talk; unmeaning loquacity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To talk idly or boastfully; be loquacious; chatter; babble.
  • To utter foolishly; chatter.
  • n. Idle or childish talk; prattle; unmeaning loquacity; twaddle.
  • n. Synonyms See prattle.

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

Middle English praten, from Middle Dutch prāten.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English 15th century praten, from Middle Dutch, akin to Middle Low German pratten. Cognate with Swedish: prata. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "There's no man in the world
    More bound to's mother; yet here he lets me prate
    Like one i' the stocks."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009

  • for he that prates his secrets,
    his heart stands on the outside

    The Revenger's Tragedy

    I wonder how that links to the quote above...

    March 23, 2009

  • "This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just 'people of faith' but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity."
    - Christopher Hitchens, 'Sarah Palin's War on Science', slate.com, 27 Oct 2008.

    October 30, 2008