Definition of prattle in US English:



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  • Talk at length in a foolish or inconsequential way.

    ‘she began to prattle on about her visit to the dentist’
    • ‘Their companions nodded sagely in agreement as they prattled on.’
    • ‘The automatic writing prattled on like this at length, interrupted by neither full stop nor comma and driven by a rhyme scheme that might politely be described as random but which did not seem especially Japanese in origin.’
    • ‘I don't want it to be diluted by prattling around with this kind of nonsense!’
    • ‘After she'd finished prattling away, I succinctly, and rather puzzled said, ‘Uh… what?’’
    • ‘For ages I've been prattling on about telephony being just an application that lives on a mobile data-linked device, and that everyone's too hung up on the concept of ‘a phone’.’
    • ‘He was being falsely modest afterward, prattling on about how there was an element of good fortune to it, but that's a nonsense.’
    • ‘You probably think that I've just been prattling away aimlessly on these pages for the past three and a half years, immune to the vagaries of the wonderful world of weblogs.’
    • ‘There was a man prattling in French to a woman at the next table.’
    • ‘I understand if you don't want an annoying chatterbox prattling away in your ear while you eat.’
    • ‘It's been said that you don't know what hell is until you've had an insurance salesman in your living room, prattling on eternally about term life annuities.’
    • ‘She is still powerful, prattling and perfectly potty but there is something missing.’
    • ‘The report prattles on gormlessly: ‘We cannot build our way out of the problems we face on our road networks.’’
    • ‘Nobody prattled about dormitory suburbs, or objected to people drinking on the footpath outside the pubs.’
    • ‘In the real world, if you're prattling about stuff people don't want to talk about, you'll annoy them.’
    • ‘Successive governments have prattled on at length about the importance of this for our economy and for our businesses.’
    • ‘I spent the first part of the session prattling on about this week's dramas.’
    • ‘Everyone keeps on prattling on about how deep it was.’
    • ‘I went back to her, held her hand and prattled away for a little while.’
    • ‘I won't even delve into the confusion between solitude and the ‘modern malaise’ of feeling lonely, which I've prattled on about before.’
    • ‘I just nodded politely while she prattled on until the vet called us in.’
    chatter, babble, prate, blather, blether, ramble, gabble, jabber, twitter, go on, run on, rattle away, rattle on, blither, maunder, drivel, patter, gossip, tittle-tattle, tattle, yap, jibber-jabber, cackle
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  • Foolish or inconsequential talk.

    ‘do you intend to keep up this childish prattle?’
    • ‘It's been awhile since I've seen this much ignorant prattle spouted about the Pope, and that's saying something.’
    • ‘I have to say it has been bliss not being subject to his constant prattle, and I have taken a certain sadistic pleasure in seeing him squirm when he is forced to talk to me when I assign him unpleasant work tasks.’
    • ‘It goes along with prattle about ‘good corporate citizenship’, and the notion that particular corporations, like banks, have reputations which are determined by some kind of popularity polls.’
    • ‘If we find few to communicate with, maybe we shall be pleased to find in our grandchildren a docile generation willing to lend an ear to our prattle.’
    • ‘We can now expect a deluge of such laughable assertions - not only from leading lights of the Republican and Democratic parties but also from a remarkable number of journalists who feel compelled to echo that kind of prattle.’
    • ‘What does he really mean when uttering such ahistoric prattle?’
    • ‘He was right to seek the solitary company of lizards rather than prattle around the camp fire with his fellow ‘contestants’.’
    • ‘Without their help my prattle would never have been heard.’
    • ‘Hollywood activists have such an inflated sense of their own importance they think any hindrance of their own prattle is the equivalent of censorship or cracking down on dissent.’
    • ‘Yes, for only four easy payments of $39.95 you'll receive an album of audio cassettes with hours and hours of what at first seems babbling prattle, but on closer inspection is much, much more.’
    • ‘Witness the Swedish academy's citation, which told us that the seventy-five-year-old playwright ‘uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms’.’
    • ‘And a number of people have thought that the debate has shifted to tax but in fact that has only been elite prattle.’
    • ‘Now, you can't hold him responsible for the random prattle of his sibling…’
    • ‘Such prattle demonstrates an inability and indeed an unwillingness to contemplate the affects of combat on the victor as well as the vanquished.’
    • ‘But that is as much to do with her Yorkshire upbringing as long months spent puncturing parliamentary prattle.’
    • ‘Remember, I don't write all my inane prattle here for personal or financial benefit, but merely to try and lighten the dark corners of your souls, and edify your weary minds.’
    • ‘Of course, the subjective part to all this was the abundant prattle about the ‘end of ideology’.’
    • ‘Ultimately, since the audience knows precisely where the story is going, and the road to that point is nothing more than scene upon scene of tedious relationship prattle, this show just never gets going.’
    • ‘He listened gracefully to my enthusiastic amateur prattle as we left.’
    • ‘After about half an hour of incessant prattle, an elderly man rose shakily from his seat and, with all his strength, slammed shut the door leading to vestibule.’
    chatter, babble, talk, prating, blather, blether, rambling, gabble, jabber, drivel, palaver, tattle
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Mid 16th century: from Middle Low German pratelen, from praten (see prate).