Definition of tittle-tattle in US English:



  • Idle talk; gossip.

    ‘she would never listen to tittle-tattle about another girl’
    • ‘Then again, maybe none of this matters and if we have to fill our lives with something, it may as well be acrimonious tittle-tattle about the famous, the sort of famous and those desperately seeking attention.’
    • ‘During my playing career, what passed as scandals were more along the lines of tabloid tittle-tattle than criminal investigations.’
    • ‘They always want to cloud the issue with facts and figures, spoiling what should be a hot and heavy session of tittle-tattle with words like ‘truth’ and ‘proof’.’
    • ‘I deplored the way that, when the two of us were alone together, he would listen to tittle-tattle for hours on end when he must have known full well that not only was it disloyal to the victims but that both of us had more important things to do.’
    • ‘It's a strange combination of gossip and in-house tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘Despite this he added: ‘What's important to me is not who does a particular job but that we get the message across and I'm not going to get involved in tittle-tattle and gossip about who does what.’’
    • ‘He is flicking idly through the tabloid tittle-tattle, recounting a story of marital strife, laughing at the expense of others, and yet again avoiding work.’
    • ‘There was some tittle-tattle a few weeks back that eBay was interested in buying the company.’
    • ‘I reckon the gossip surrounding her breasts is just that - idle tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘Weaving through all this tittle-tattle is a narrative.’
    • ‘To ensure he still had a roof over his head, he would have needed to have a sound idea of how his lord felt about others, and to enable him to avoid any clangers, he would have been privy to much gossip and tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘This kitchen table tittle-tattle had no public interest justification.’
    • ‘These kind of stories come from tittle-tattle in pubs, or from something as simple as the way a player hangs his head when he walks off the pitch.’
    • ‘They are tittle-tattle, nothing remotely important.’
    • ‘In an age of lurid, kiss-and-tell celebrity tittle-tattle, the gentle contours of a smoothly flowing career and the discreet details of a happy, lasting marriage are hardly the material of a bestseller.’
    • ‘It is a fascinating read - serious observations on the latest political developments and possible ways of developing theoretical ideas, alongside tittle-tattle, gossip, complaints about the weather and even laundry lists.’
    • ‘Whatever one's views, it's great to rediscover the ability to animate politics through a discussion of ideas rather than personality or passing tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘The views of a union leader about a major strike hardly counts as tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘He would become known to thousands of regular viewers as an extremely witty man with a wicked, often cutting sense of humour that deconstructed the celebrity tittle-tattle the programme was forced to report on.’
    • ‘Most political diaries are written by politicians themselves but this one records the daily political tittle-tattle told to a wife over the dinner table and is therefore more revealing.’
    tattle, rumour, rumours, whispers, stories, tales, canards, titbits
    gossip, rumour, tattle, idle talk, scandal, hearsay
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  • Engage in gossip or idle talk.

    • ‘Yet the latest Royal scandal reminds us that as a nation we are still in thrall to gossip and tittle-tattle about the famous - and especially royalty.’
    gossip, spread rumours, spread gossip, circulate rumours, spread stories, talk, whisper, tattle, tell tales
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Early 16th century: reduplication of tattle.