Definition of rattling in English:



  • 1Making a series of knocking sounds.

    ‘a rattling old lift’
    • ‘During the burning, if the shoulder blade makes a rattling sound it means evil spirits are haunting the house.’
    • ‘It's very important to condition your horse to the sound of rattling paper as you fold and unfold the map.’
    • ‘Even if they decide to borrow books and continue schooling, it is not easy when the rattling sound of empty stomachs hurts them.’
    • ‘Midway between the two rattling sounds, the captain was heard remarking that he was encountering the wake of a plane ahead of him.’
    • ‘A pickup with a rattling muffler pulls up on one side.’
    • ‘Then, Carter busts the lid off the song, and achieves a rush of sound, Carter's reeds screaming, the percussion a rattling thunderstorm.’
    • ‘They await prepared with sound effects-thunderclaps and rattling chains.’
    • ‘We have no complaints about the keyboard's resistance and hub, but when typing fast, there is a rattling sound.’
    • ‘I could hear the maids knocking on doors and rattling keys in locks down the corridor, so I decided to go back to my room and wash there.’
    • ‘Over the noise of rattling trays, someone shouts: ‘Let's get them!’’
    • ‘The words of the chief echoed through his head, as did the sound of the rattling door.’
    • ‘Maybe that guy who fears snakes is just afraid of the image of the snake - the forked tongue, the rattling tail, the evilness inherent in the creature.’
    • ‘The rattling screen door and sound of footsteps alerted that Roy was mere moments away.’
    • ‘We would place an ear on the line to hear the rattling sound of wheels of the approaching trains.’
    • ‘From downstairs came the sound of rattling dishes and two indistinguishable voices.’
    • ‘Before she had a chance to clear her head, there was a rattling knock on the storm door.’
    • ‘The boar could hear the sounds too, the rattling drums, the subtle bass, and the spiraling, convex echo guitar.’
    • ‘Behind them was the soft continuous sound of rattling wheels and human voices.’
    • ‘The sound of the rattling chain links was loud in the corridor as Tanj moved her feet as fast as she could, trying hard to keep up.’
    • ‘The room was filled with the rattling sound of the machine and they were dropping down on the floor in heaps and heaps.’
    brisk, quick, fast, rapid, swift, lively, spanking, energetic, spirited, vigorous, jaunty
    View synonyms
  • 2dated, informal Very good of its kind (used for emphasis)

    ‘a rattling good story’
    • ‘But still, over there, they recognise a rattling good story when they read one.’
    • ‘It was a rattling good adventure story that kept me gripped to the surprising end.’
    • ‘The book is a rattling good read, even if it is on historiography.’
    • ‘Figo converted and Real Madrid proceeded to shine and (mostly beyond them this season) showboat their way to a rattling 4-2 triumph.’
    • ‘You could, however, make an exception for Macdara Vallely's sparky little story that is not just a rattling good yarn, but also marks the arrival of a very promising new boy on the crowded Irish playwright block.’
    • ‘‘It is a rattling good yarn,’ he told the Western People.’
    • ‘This book is certainly a rattling detective story.’
    • ‘The first half, in particular, is a rattling tale of wartime adventure, culminating in Riddiford's final, successful escape with two others from an Austrian camp.’
    • ‘But it's a rattling good film that whips you along at a good pace, has some interesting side plots that come back in interesting ways and some bravura camerawork.’