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A small, enclosed, usually spherical bell or rattle having a loose pellet inside and one or more slits or other small openings in its surface.
[From French crotale, singular of crotales, clappers or from Latin crotalum, kind of clapper or castanet (French, from Latin), from Greek krotalon, clapper, castanet, from krotein, to strike, beat.]
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.