chor·​tle | \ ˈchȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce chortle (audio) \
chortled; chortling\ ˈchȯrt-​liŋ How to pronounce chortle (audio) , ˈchȯr-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of chortle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to sing or chant exultantly he chortled in his joy— Lewis Carroll
2 : to laugh or chuckle especially when amused or pleased She chortled with delight.

transitive verb

: to say or sing with a chortling intonation "… nothing whatever to worry about," he chortled merrily.— Kevin Myers


plural chortles

Definition of chortle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a laugh or chuckle expressing pleasure or amusement a chortle of delight I hear a catbird's bubbling notes, sounding like the bird is half strangling itself to get them out, the rapid-tonguing chortle of a red-bellied woodpecker …— John P. Wiley Jr. The grin escalates into a chuckle, the chuckle to a chortle.— Robert Palm

Other Words from chortle


chortler \ ˈchȯrt-​lər How to pronounce chortle (audio) , ˈchȯr-​tᵊl-​ər \ noun

Examples of chortle in a Sentence

Verb He chortled, “You're going to love this.” audiences might chortle gently during the movie's amusing bits, but there are few knee-slappers
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah has been booked to tell the jokes that everyone will chortle over at first, then complain about later. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 29 Apr. 2022 Critics understandably chortle but the paper perhaps is resurrecting itself for a serious moment. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, 22 Mar. 2022 It’s not every day that an American president and a foreign dictator chortle together over the IQ of an American former vice president. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 20 Oct. 2020 So, yes, by all means chortle and smirk online at the consensual private trespasses of Jerry Falwell Jr., yet another great Protestant hypocrite laid low. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2020 My year-old daughter is chortling, making silly faces with my mom. Bridget Shirvell, New York Times, 17 Apr. 2020 There are a host of other chortling jack-o-lanterns as well, usually including an enormous one shooting flames from the top of its roasting head, an effect created by soaking toilet paper rolls in kerosene. M. Carrie Allan, Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2019 Klobuchar contrasted her big picture talk with stories of her family’s humble roots — her grandfather was a miner, who used a coffee can to save for her father’s future — and kept the crowd chortling with jokes. NBC News, 3 Feb. 2020 Strong reactions to the 2019 musical should be evident over the next seven days at Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema, during nine screenings that encourage audience members to heckle, chortle and sing along. Mary Colurso |, al, 24 Jan. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of chortle


1871, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chortle


probably blend of chuckle and snort

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Time Traveler for chortle

Time Traveler

The first known use of chortle was in 1871

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Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chortle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chortle


chor·​tle | \ ˈchȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce chortle (audio) \
chortled; chortling

Kids Definition of chortle

: to chuckle in amusement or joy He chortled with delight.

More from Merriam-Webster on chortle

Nglish: Translation of chortle for Spanish Speakers


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