Definition of rattling in English:



  • 1Making a series of knocking sounds:

    ‘a rattling old lift’
    • ‘Even if they decide to borrow books and continue schooling, it is not easy when the rattling sound of empty stomachs hurts them.’
    • ‘The room was filled with the rattling sound of the machine and they were dropping down on the floor in heaps and heaps.’
    • ‘Behind them was the soft continuous sound of rattling wheels and human voices.’
    • ‘The words of the chief echoed through his head, as did the sound of the rattling door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Before she had a chance to clear her head, there was a rattling knock on the storm door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over the noise of rattling trays, someone shouts: ‘Let's get them!’’
    • ‘Then, Carter busts the lid off the song, and achieves a rush of sound, Carter's reeds screaming, the percussion a rattling thunderstorm.’
    • ‘The rattling screen door and sound of footsteps alerted that Roy was mere moments away.’
    • ‘From downstairs came the sound of rattling dishes and two indistinguishable voices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We have no complaints about the keyboard's resistance and hub, but when typing fast, there is a rattling sound.’
    • ‘They await prepared with sound effects-thunderclaps and rattling chains.’
    • ‘The boar could hear the sounds too, the rattling drums, the subtle bass, and the spiraling, convex echo guitar.’
    • ‘We would place an ear on the line to hear the rattling sound of wheels of the approaching trains.’
    brisk, quick, fast, rapid, swift, lively, spanking, energetic, spirited, vigorous, jaunty
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  • 2informal, dated Very good of its kind (used for emphasis):

    ‘a rattling good story’
    • ‘‘It is a rattling good yarn,’ he told the Western People.’
    • ‘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 was a rattling good adventure story that kept me gripped to the surprising end.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The book is a rattling good read, even if it is on historiography.’
    • ‘But still, over there, they recognise a rattling good story when they read one.’
    • ‘Figo converted and Real Madrid proceeded to shine and (mostly beyond them this season) showboat their way to a rattling 4-2 triumph.’
    • ‘This book is certainly a rattling detective story.’