rattle around (something or some place)

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rattle around (something or some place)

1. To make a series of continuous clinking noises (inside of something), like a rattle. A pebble or something must have gotten inside of the casing—I can hear it rattling around. The coins rattled around in her piggy bank as she carried it up the stairs.
2. To make a lot of various clinking or banging noises (in some place or thing). I could hear you rattling around downstairs at 3 AM. What on earth were you doing down there? Don't mind those sounds, it's just Tom rattling around in the attic.
3. To live or spend time in some large, empty or uninhabited place or thing. You can probably find Dr. Fleischer rattling around in his lab. It makes me sad to think of my mother rattling around in that big old house all on her own.
4. To exist persistently in one's mind. I've had this idea rattling around in my head for the last few days that I'm really excited to pursue. I may be nearly 90 years old, but I've still got a few sensible thoughts rattling around up there yet!
See also: around, rattle

rattle around in something

 
1. Lit. to make a rattling noise inside something. What is rattling around in this package? There is something rattling around in my glove compartment.
2. Fig. to ride about in a vehicle with a rattle. I am perfectly happy to rattle around in my ten-year-old car. Todd rattles around in his grandfather's old car.
3. Fig. to live in a place that is much too big. We have been rattling around in this big old house for long enough. Let's move to a smaller place. I can't afford to rattle around in a three-story house any longer.
See also: around, rattle
References in periodicals archive ?
The reason Gore's answers may have rattled around could be that he was in a state of shock that America's most distinguished editorial board couldn't do better than this.
If there were no friction, the ball's continuing motion as it rattled around the table would appear random.
The former England striker was given the full treatment and looked bemused when chants of "There's only one greedy ***" rattled around St James'.
Coventry were winning 4-1 towards the end of the second period when an Adam Calder shot rattled around the edge of the pipes and out again.
"The second problem is that the defendants have to travel a long way to reach the courts which means they have to get up very early in the morning and they are rattled around in vans for hours to reach Caernarfon, for example, and it's just not fair.
The last time I was in the States their collecting tins still rattled around the Boston bars.
Only 15, 933 hardy souls rattled around the famous old stadium as the Scots slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat.