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

intransitive verb

: to make the sharp broken noise or cry characteristic of a hen especially after laying
: to laugh especially in a harsh or sharp manner
Shakespeare's crones cackled of evil deedsScott McMurray
cackle noun
cackler noun

Examples of cackle in a Sentence

The hens were cackling in the henhouse. I could hear my aunts cackling in the next room.
Recent Examples on the Web Following the devastating crash, the cartel members were heard cackling. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 9 Mar. 2024 Even a casual viewer knows the only time Mary Cosby leaves her closet is to cackle at the moon on the monthly anniversary of Jen Shah's incarceration. Kristen Baldwin and Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 6 Sep. 2023 Apparently this bird would spend a good part of the day sitting on the window ledge giving a loud cackling call typical of an agitated Cooper’s hawk. Taylor Piephoff, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 With cameras rolling, Snoop and Benny cackled in drunken laughter at the center of the scene, while rapping along to their forthcoming collaboration. Kenan Draughorne, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2024 Buy Now Homesick Barbie Dreamhouse Candle Diptyque Amber Candle Evoke the aura of a cackling fire with this woody scent from Diptyque, which features notes of wood, vetiver and patchouli enhanced with radiant aniseed, insolent spices, mysterious incense, cistus and tonka bean. Anna Tingley, Variety, 22 Jan. 2024 And Viola Davis is gleefully unhinged as head gamemaker Volumnia Gaul, a cackling mad scientist who precisely pronounces every syllable in la-bor-a-tory and sports a white dress that looks like it was dipped in a pool of blood. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 Social media cackled with delight at Lee exposed the craters embedded in the business practices of the city’s restaurants. Keyaira Boone, Essence, 2 Nov. 2023 Duarte cackled after making a clanky old joke); and, from Blackwell, there’s an impressive sense of calm, openhearted bravery and patience with the audience. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 2 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cackle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English cakelen, of imitative origin

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near cackle

Cite this Entry

“Cackle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cack·​le ˈkak-əl How to pronounce cackle (audio)
cackled; cackling -(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce cackle (audio)
: to make the sharp broken noise or cry that a hen makes especially after laying an egg
: to laugh or chatter noisily
cackle noun
cackler noun

More from Merriam-Webster on cackle

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