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
Can you define these popular missing words?
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
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
The beeping noise a phone or tablet makes to alert you of its near death status (being out of battery - let's not quibble over semantics)
Oh for fucks sake, I have to charge my phone, it just gave its death rattle!
by BBC Bite Size Revision August 08, 2016