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


chortler \ ˈchȯrt-​lər How to pronounce chortler (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 Meanwhile, the pirate Blackbeard will be chortling from beyond the grave, laughing at the very notion of property ownership, intellectual or otherwise. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The pirate Blackbeard is laughing in his grave over a SCOTUS copyright case," 2 Nov. 2019 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, The Denver Post, "How to concoct frighteningly good Halloween cocktails," 23 Oct. 2019 Sheila was his beautiful blond wife, holding their chortling infant in a campaign commercial for his first run as the Republican candidate for mayor., "Sheila Bentley, ex-wife of ‘Buddy’ Cianci, on their marriage," 20 Oct. 2019 Several times, cameras captured her appearing to chortle slightly as prominent Conservatives, including some former Cabinet ministers, accused the prime minister of having no plan for staving off a no-deal departure. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, "U.K. Parliament defies Boris Johnson and sets vote to block no-deal Brexit," 3 Sep. 2019 Patriots fans will once again sit on their couches and chortle at the abject stupidity of every coach who goes up against Belichick. Dan Shaughnessy,, "Why Bill Belichick and the Patriots fit our self-image," 7 Sep. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for chortle

Time Traveler

The first known use of chortle was in 1871

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Statistics for chortle

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Chortle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for chortle


How to pronounce chortle (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chortle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chortle

Spanish Central: Translation of chortle

Nglish: Translation of chortle for Spanish Speakers

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