Chat·ter·ton(chăt′ər-tən), Thomas 1752-1770.
British poet who fooled scholars by ascribing his poetry to a 15th-century monk, Thomas Rowley. Unable to support himself by writing, Chatterton became dejected and took his own life at age 17. His work and example influenced the romantic poets.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.