1766, originally a noun, a contemptuous term for a thing or things deemed trifling or of little value, from rattle (adj.) + trap, perhaps in the sense in traps (n.2). Hence, "a shabby, rattling object," especially a rickety coach or other vehicle (1822). The adjectival sense of "rickety" is recorded from 1834.
updated on April 29, 2021
Dictionary entries near rattletrap