Definition of tattle in English:



  • 1 Gossip idly.

    ‘according to some tattling sources, he never quite gave her up’
    • ‘Tighter money and higher interest rates will not be needed for much longer, they tattled.’
    • ‘This one will include a banishment clause for tattling, since our last nanny came this close to selling a tell-all about life among us.’
    • ‘They're so silly, and they tattle.’
    • ‘They tend to gain control by withdrawing affection and attention or by gossiping and tattling.’
    gossip, tittle-tattle, chatter, chat, chit-chat, prattle, prate, babble, blabber, jabber, gabble, rattle on, spread rumours, spread gossip, circulate rumours, spread stories
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    1. 1.1North American Report another's wrongdoing; tell tales.
      ‘he never tattled or told tales’
      ‘I would tattle on her whenever I had hard evidence’
      • ‘I think he would strangle me if he hears that I've been tattling on him.’
      • ‘It was tattling, I knew, but somehow I didn't think Dove could get very upset with me for snitching about this.’
      • ‘‘Well,’ Margalo said, ‘At least he won't be tattling on us anymore.’’
      • ‘She stabbed her finger at him as she yelled, ‘That's for tattling on me!’’
      • ‘And if you do, I'm gonna go tattle on you to mom and dad!’
      • ‘Hollywood is its own dirty little secret, and there's nothing Hollywood likes more than tattling on itself.’
      • ‘Stumble across us and go tattle to the principal!’
      • ‘You could take the low road and tattle on Phil in purchasing.’
      • ‘Remind your child that telling (to stop a behavior that is harmful) is different than tattling (in order to get someone in trouble).’
      • ‘I tattled on her (I never do it otherwise), I did not like it one bit, but I had to show her how much it hurts that you cannot ever trust your own sister.’
      • ‘The kid burst into tears, and ran back to wherever his mom was to go tattle on him.’
      • ‘Well I still hadn't gotten her back for tattling on me.’
      • ‘If the action gets too intense, sit out and lick your lollipop or just tattle on the others.’
      • ‘But, I'm afraid it will be like when little kids tattle on each other.’
      • ‘I was trying to find out whose parent she belonged to and I was hoping that the sight of me on the phone would scare her into thinking that I was calling her mother… and tattling.’
      • ‘No, you just go tattling to mommy and daddy every time I put a toe out of line.’
      • ‘If the clerk continues to overlook you, find the manager and tattle!’
      • ‘Had I wanted to (and had I something to tell), I could've tattled.’
      • ‘For many, whistleblowers, tattling on the boss still means career suicide - with no applause.’
      • ‘She isn't interested in tattling to the wife, whom she doesn't know, or using a baby-sitter spy-cam to catch them.’


  • [mass noun] Gossip; idle talk.

    ‘for each story of mine, a titbit of town tattle must be exchanged’
    • ‘Neither of these scenarios includes Vince, which leads us to suspect that this preposterous piece of tattle of his connection with Amanda is being bruited about by none other than Cyborg himself.’
    • ‘Really, this whole to-do might well have been just another volley in the site's regular stream of tattle, only it spun way out of control.’
    • ‘Take, for example, the latest bit of groundless tattle.’
    • ‘If we did not think they were full of tattle, we would not be linking to them.’
    • ‘The lovestruck Liberals paid this petty tattle no mind and even bought a house together last spring.’
    • ‘More unworthy tattle emerges about his godson.’
    • ‘What amusement will our tattle of her later bring us!’
    • ‘What is certain is that we've all had more than enough of his tactless tattle.’
    • ‘Just how far I have come from my days of respecting Motson was confirmed yesterday where he destroyed all enjoyment of watching the cup final with his mediocre tattle.’
    • ‘A favourite target of this tattle has predictably been the labour boss.’
    • ‘He had lined up an exclusive deal with society tattle rag VIP but the deal fell through.’
    • ‘Perelman's free-associative style spun fantasias out of girdle ads, tabloid tattle, sleazy pulp fiction and recipe prose.’
    • ‘One crisp November afternoon, she summoned her lovers to her bedside bistro for tea and tattle.’
    • ‘But Duffy has no truck with those who argue that the player, who is injury-prone and inclined to attract lurid headlines, has little left to offer the sport beyond tears and tabloid tattle.’
    • ‘The tattle and titillation only makes him redouble attempts to disclose his real self and we're slowly becoming suffocated under the continued weight of his effort.’
    • ‘This local sleazy hack would also love to know if the tattle is true.’
    • ‘This is the proper Guadeloupe, where the tiny rum shops are open to all callers day and night for a little tipple and tattle.’
    gossip, rumour, tittle-tattle, hearsay, prattle, scandal, small talk, chit-chat
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Late 15th century (in the sense ‘falter, stammer’, also ‘make meaningless sounds’, referring to a small child): from Middle Flemish tatelen, tateren, of imitative origin.