cack·​le | \ ˈka-kəl How to pronounce cackle (audio) \
cackled; cackling\ ˈka-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce cackling (audio) \

Definition of cackle

intransitive verb

1 : to make the sharp broken noise or cry characteristic of a hen especially after laying
2 : to laugh especially in a harsh or sharp manner Shakespeare's crones cackled of evil deeds— Scott McMurray

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Other Words from cackle

cackle noun
cackler \ ˈka-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce cackler (audio) \ noun

Examples of cackle in a Sentence

The hens were cackling in the henhouse. Geese cackled by the pond in the park. I could hear my aunts cackling in the next room.
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Recent Examples on the Web As the camera rolls, and his wife asks him to hold back, the father transforms into a goofy monster that dives face first into the cake, destroying it, while his daughters cackle in glee. Melissa Locker, Time, "This Father's Dinosaur Alter Ego Has Officially Lit Up Social Media," 16 Apr. 2020 Many from both parties, and the South, found Lincoln’s smutty frontier jokes and cackling enjoyment of lowbrow humor grotesquely unpresidential—never mind his uncombable hair and tendency to throw one leg over an arm of his chair. Edward Achorn, Time, "Abraham Lincoln Healed a Divided Nation. We Should Heed His Words Today.," 16 Feb. 2020 Ever since the emperor first cackled in the trailer, fans have been wondering how Palpatine managed to return. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "All the Questions We Still Have After Watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 20 Dec. 2019 That brings us to the film’s depiction of Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs (played as an inhuman, cackling harpie by Olivia Wilde), whose stories were among the earliest to name Jewell as a suspect. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 13 Dec. 2019 Then give them something to cackle about at this year’s Witches of Delray Bike Ride from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 through downtown Delray Beach guided by the Delray Beach Police Department. Kari Barnett,, "Calling all witches: Brooms become bikes for annual ride," 18 Oct. 2019 Matt Talansky, an exiled Mets fan living in Los Angeles, practically cackled at Mr. Brady’s legal fumble. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "Tom Brady Is No ‘Tom Terrific.’ Any New Yorker Can Tell You That.," 23 Aug. 2019 Witches will come out this of year to cast their spells and cackle away the night. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "A Little Black Magic Pumpkin," 9 Sep. 2019 After locking her pup inside the dryer and closing the door, the woman turned on the machine and proceeded to cackle and scream with laughter while the pooch tumbled around inside for a few seconds. Joelle Goldstein,, "Texas Woman Livestreamed Herself Shoving Her Dog into a Clothes Dryer and Turning the Machine On," 12 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cackle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cackle

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cackle

Middle English cakelen, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for cackle

Time Traveler

The first known use of cackle was in the 13th century

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Statistics for cackle

Cite this Entry

“Cackle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for cackle


How to pronounce cackle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cackle

of chickens, geese, etc. : to make loud, unpleasant sounds
: to laugh noisily


cack·​le | \ ˈka-kəl How to pronounce cackle (audio) \
cackled; cackling

Kids Definition of cackle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make the noise or cry a hen makes especially after laying an egg
2 : to laugh or chatter noisily



Kids Definition of cackle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sound made by a hen or like that made by a hen a cackle of laughter

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More from Merriam-Webster on cackle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cackle

Spanish Central: Translation of cackle

Nglish: Translation of cackle for Spanish Speakers

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