Definition of tittle-tattle in English:



  • Idle talk; gossip.

    • ‘This kitchen table tittle-tattle had no public interest justification.’
    • ‘They are tittle-tattle, nothing remotely important.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Weaving through all this tittle-tattle is a narrative.’
    • ‘I reckon the gossip surrounding her breasts is just that - idle tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘The views of a union leader about a major strike hardly counts as tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘It's a strange combination of gossip and in-house tittle-tattle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘During my playing career, what passed as scandals were more along the lines of tabloid tittle-tattle than criminal investigations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was some tittle-tattle a few weeks back that eBay was interested in buying the company.’
    • ‘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.’
    tattle, rumour, rumours, whispers, stories, tales, canards, titbits
    View synonyms


  • 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.’


Early 16th century: reduplication of tattle.