• (RP) IPA: /ˈtæt(ə)l/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈtætl̩/, /-ɾl̩/

tattle (tattles, present participle tattling; past and past participle tattled)

  1. (intransitive) To chatter#Verb|chatter; to gossip#Verb|gossip.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, Much Adoe about Nothing. […], quarto edition, London: Printed by V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, OCLC 932921146 ↗, [Act II, scene i] ↗:
      He were an excellent man that were made iuſt in the mid-way between him and Benedick, the one is too like an image and ſaies nothing, and the other too like my ladies eldeſt ſonne, euermore tatling.
    • 1693, Decimus Junius Juvenalis; John Dryden, transl., “[The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis.] The Satyr”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse. […] Together with the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson […], OCLC 80026745 ↗, page ix ↗:
      By this time, My Lord, I doubt not but that you wonder, why I have run off from my Biaſs ſo long together, and made ſo tedious a Digreſſion from Satire to Heroique Poetry. But if You will not excuſe it, by the tattling Quality of Age, which, as Sir ''{{w
    • 1838, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], chapter VII, in Alice or The Mysteries: […] In Three Volumes, volume I, London: Saunders and Otley, […], OCLC 2844716 ↗, book III, [https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.33433074938808;view=1up;seq=16 pages 297–298]:
      She tattled on: first to one, then to the other—then to all, till she had tattled herself out of breath;—and then the orthodox half hour had expired, and the bell was rung, and the carriage ordered, and Mrs. Hare rose to depart.
  2. (intransitive, Canada, US, pejorative) Often said of children: to report#Verb|report incriminating#Adjective|incriminating information about another person, or a person's wrongdoing; to tell on somebody. [from late 15th c.]
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To speak like a baby#Noun|baby or young#Adjective|young child; to babble#Verb|babble, to prattle; to speak haltingly; to stutter#Verb|stutter.
Synonyms Translations Translations Noun


  1. (countable) A tattletale.
  2. (countable, Canada, US, pejorative) Often said of children: a piece of incriminating#Adjective|incriminating information or an account#Noun|account of wrongdoing that is said about another person.
  3. (uncountable) idle#Adjective|Idle talk#Noun|talk; gossip#Noun|gossip; (countable) an instance of such talk or gossip.
Synonyms Translations

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