"a sharp, hard, metallic sound," 1650s, from clank (v.). Reduplicated form clankety-clank attested from 1895.
1610s, "cause to make a sharp, hard, metallic sound," perhaps echoic, perhaps a blend of clang (v.) and clink (v.), perhaps from a Low German source (compare Middle Dutch clank, Dutch klank, Old High German klanc, Middle Low German klank, German Klang). Intransitive sense "give out a clank" is from 1650s.
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