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1.
More often than not described as the last exhale of breathe, heard from the vibration of the neck when it is in an unusual position, allowing air to escape a narrow passage from the throat. It causes any of infinite odd sounds of expulsion of air.
You can imitate a death rattle for fun. Lean your neck backwards at 90 degrees and Pronounce terms such as "Ughrghrghrghrgh" or "Phhztttttt"
by larstait October 10, 2003
 
2.
a sound produced by a person immediately preceding death, resulting from the passage of air through the mucus in the throat.
He gave a death rattle and then died.
by Joe Bloggs October 13, 2003
 
3.
that annoying/scary noise made by the girl in "The Grudge". this is caused by her neck being broken. Sort of a strangled ahhhhhhhhh.
I heard the death rattle behind me. Then I was dead.
by claireisfreakedout January 10, 2011