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

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Other Words from chortle


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

Examples of chortle in a Sentence


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

Ed's nasty chortles project everything from abject fear to hunger, dramatic interest, wanderlust and just plain evil laughter. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'The Lion King' turns 25: Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin showed teeth as hilarious hyenas," 23 Nov. 2018 Still, the Trump administration must prepare itself for the coming wave of congressional oversight and investigative efforts and avoid chortling over how Democrats will overdo it. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Both Parties Win—and Lose," 7 Nov. 2018 But Last Man Standing has reached a point where its more emotional and dramatic moments work better than its comedic ones, which are increasingly just a series of moments where Mike chortles about the results of the last election. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Last Man Standing perfectly encapsulates the 2010s, for better and for worse," 29 Sep. 2018 That chortled-at peach-fuzzy coach, Sean McVay, is the reigning coach of the year. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "What the national media are saying about the Seahawks entering 2018," 4 Sep. 2018 Dutch, French, English, American, Japanese, and a Namibian group called the Himba—and tried to match the chortling to its country of origin. Popular Mechanics, "Can You Tell Someone's Nationality From Their Laugh?," 9 Aug. 2018 His supporters could be heard chortling in the back row during testimony from one Liberian war victim. Jeremy Roebuck,, "Lawyers for Delco Liberian accused of hiding record of war crimes say convicting him won't change the past," 12 June 2018 Casey, a veteran pol, chortled and rubbed his hands together in glee upon hearing this. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: Casey at the bat, swinging at ‘illegals’ in Decatur," 4 June 2018 The main entertainment was Jimmy Buffett, bluff and chortling, on hand to promote his feel-good jukebox musical. Matthew Schneier, New York Times, "Troye Sivan Is a New Kind of Pop Star: Here, Queer and Used to It," 10 May 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near chortle







chorus boy

Statistics for chortle

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chortle

The first known use of chortle was in 1871

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More Definitions for chortle



English Language Learners Definition of chortle

: to laugh because you are amused or pleased by something


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on chortle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chortle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chortle

Spanish Central: Translation of chortle

Nglish: Translation of chortle for Spanish Speakers

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